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Sterling Silver Cups

The sterling silver cup evolved from a similar kind of vessel popular throughout Eastern Europe called the beaker, which technically is taller than it is wide. Shot-sized beakers made from sterling silver were considered to be the vessel of choice for consuming vodka in Russia.

The earliest examples of sterling silver cups date back to the 15th century, when Scandinavians produced elegant beer steins. Over the next two centuries, the Germans and English developed their own varieties of beer tankards, which tended to be squatter and wider in nature. The German and English varieties of the 16th and 17th centuries most resemble those that we are familiar with today, and often included engraved scenes from The Bible or Greek mythology.

Sterling silver cups remain incredibly popular in America and throughout the world for their luster and white radiance as well as for their versatility. Most notably, sterling silver cups have been used throughout history as ceremonial keepsakes for corporate awards, gifts for infants, wine goblets, and sturdy silver beer tankers.


Quick Facts

  • The mint julep tumbler, a vessel designed for drinking the eponymous cocktail that is popular throughout the American South, is arguably the most renowned type of sterling silver cup
  • Sterling silver cups, especially those made by esteemed producers such as Tiffany & Co., routinely sell for hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars at auction
  • The cup presented by Titanic survivor Molly Brown to the captain of the rescue ship the Carpathia sold for more than $200,000 during a 2015 auction by Henry Aldridge & Son

Recommended Items at Auction

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Swid Powell Sterling Silver Baby Cup, 2.8 ozt
Oct 04, 10:00 AM EDT
Swid Powell Sterling Silver Baby Cup, 2.8 ozt
by Weschler's
Est: $40- $80
$12510 Bids
A Neoclassical fine gilt silver chalice, hallmarked Strasbourg, early 19thC, H 32 cm - weight: 595 g
Oct 04, 10:00 AM CEST
A Neoclassical fine gilt silver chalice, hallmarked Strasbourg, early 19thC, H 32 cm - weight: 595 g
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €600- €800
€1,3007 Bids
Four Sterling Silver Trees Julep Cups
Oct 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Four Sterling Silver Trees Julep Cups
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1505 Bids
American Silver Cup, 3.2 ozt
Oct 04, 10:00 AM EDT
American Silver Cup, 3.2 ozt
by Weschler's
Est: $40- $60
$405 Bids
A set of six silver stirrup cups goblets with hunting motifs, H 8 - 14,5 cm, total weight: ca 850 g
Oct 04, 10:00 AM CEST
A set of six silver stirrup cups goblets with hunting motifs, H 8 - 14,5 cm, total weight: ca 850 g
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €300- €500
€4254 Bids
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A pair of George III sterling silver wine goblets, David Pontifex, London, 1800
Oct 09, 10:00 AM PDT
A pair of George III sterling silver wine goblets, David Pontifex, London, 1800
by Andrew Jones Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2503 Bids
Large Signed Samuel Kirk Silver Repoussé Architectural Chinoiserie Lidded Loving Cup
Oct 22, 11:00 AM EDT
Large Signed Samuel Kirk Silver Repoussé Architectural Chinoiserie Lidded Loving Cup
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $500- $1,000
$303 Bids
2 Sterling Vintage Footed Orange Shell Cups
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
2 Sterling Vintage Footed Orange Shell Cups
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$13 Bids
Medizinbecher / A small silver cup (Camcak), Osmanisch / Ottoman, 19. Jh.
Oct 08, 9:00 AM CEST
Medizinbecher / A small silver cup (Camcak), Osmanisch / Ottoman, 19. Jh.
by Auktionshaus Schwab
Est: €90- €180
€902 Bids
New York coin silver child's cup, dated 1866
Oct 07, 9:00 AM EDT
New York coin silver child's cup, dated 1866
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $150- $250
$1252 Bids
Two German .800 Silver Antique Articles
Oct 04, 12:00 PM EDT
Two German .800 Silver Antique Articles
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $50- $100
$252 Bids
A Tiffany and Co. Silver Mug
Oct 10, 10:00 AM CDT
A Tiffany and Co. Silver Mug
by Hindman
Est: $500- $700
$2752 Bids
13 STERLING SILVER MINT JULEP CUPS
Oct 19, 10:00 PM EDT
13 STERLING SILVER MINT JULEP CUPS
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$7002 Bids
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LARGE EP TROPHY CUP ON TURNED WOODEN BASE WITH SHIELDS OF WINNERS NAMES AND DATES , JAMES WILLIAM SAWYER, CENTURY GOLF
Oct 06, 9:00 AM AEST
LARGE EP TROPHY CUP ON TURNED WOODEN BASE WITH SHIELDS OF WINNERS NAMES AND DATES , JAMES WILLIAM SAWYER, CENTURY GOLF
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD252 Bids
4 Eierbecher / 4 silver egg cups, Paris, um 1880
Oct 08, 9:00 AM CEST
4 Eierbecher / 4 silver egg cups, Paris, um 1880
by Auktionshaus Schwab
Est: €120- €240
€1201 Bid
SILVER TUMBLER
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
SILVER TUMBLER
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €70- €140
€101 Bid
Pair of Georgian Sterling Silver Beakers, Peter & Ann Bateman
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
Pair of Georgian Sterling Silver Beakers, Peter & Ann Bateman
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $500
$1251 Bid
2-piece set drinking cups silver.
Oct 11, 10:00 AM CEST
2-piece set drinking cups silver.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €180- €300
€1801 Bid
Silver Cordials
Oct 08, 9:00 AM EDT
Silver Cordials
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
A Set of Six English Silver Wine Goblets
Oct 18, 11:00 AM CDT
A Set of Six English Silver Wine Goblets
by Hindman
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5001 Bid
Smith Silver Co. sterling silver tyg or loving cup
Oct 07, 9:00 AM EDT
Smith Silver Co. sterling silver tyg or loving cup
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
A Victorian Silver Wine Goblet
Oct 18, 11:00 AM CDT
A Victorian Silver Wine Goblet
by Hindman
Est: $700- $900
$3501 Bid
Cup & saucer (Rusland, Moskou Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov 1867-1917) zilver.
Oct 11, 10:00 AM CEST
Cup & saucer (Rusland, Moskou Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov 1867-1917) zilver.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €1,500- €3,000
€1,5001 Bid
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Four Swedish silver beakers, various makers, one Kristianstad, three Norrköping, 18th century
Oct 09, 10:00 AM PDT
Four Swedish silver beakers, various makers, one Kristianstad, three Norrköping, 18th century
by Andrew Jones Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Sterling Silver Cups


Sotheby's

Sotheby's

Veilinghuis de Ruiter

Veilinghuis de Ruiter

La Galerie Numismatique

La Galerie Numismatique

Hindman

Hindman