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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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A sterling cup with engraved foliate decoration, 141 g. (4.5 troy oz.)
May 29, 9:00 AM PDT
A sterling cup with engraved foliate decoration, 141 g. (4.5 troy oz.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $100- $150
$1105 Bids
Gothic Revival Silver Gilt Chalice & Paten
Jun 09, 12:00 PM EDT
Gothic Revival Silver Gilt Chalice & Paten
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$4255 Bids
Handsome Set Sterling Silver Wine Goblets
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Handsome Set Sterling Silver Wine Goblets
by Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers
Est: $300- $500
$2505 Bids
Pair of 1800-1881 Antique French Sterling Silver
Jun 16, 9:00 AM MST
Pair of 1800-1881 Antique French Sterling Silver
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$454 Bids
A Magnificent silvergilt Nautilus Goblet as Centrepiece.
May 25, 11:00 AM CEST
A Magnificent silvergilt Nautilus Goblet as Centrepiece.
by Auktionshaus Stahl
Est: €0- €0
€3,6004 Bids
(17) Sterling Silver Shakers & (2) Small Cups
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
(17) Sterling Silver Shakers & (2) Small Cups
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1704 Bids
Silberpokal
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
Silberpokal
by Auktionshaus Mehlis GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1004 Bids
1926 The Three Musketeers Sterling Silver Egg Cup
May 26, 10:00 AM MST
1926 The Three Musketeers Sterling Silver Egg Cup
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
Fine Set Gorham Sterling Silver Goblets
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Fine Set Gorham Sterling Silver Goblets
by Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers
Est: $800- $1,200
$4503 Bids
Sterling Silver Mug
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Mug
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$413 Bids
Set 2 Kirk&SonCo Sterling Silver Vessels
Jun 12, 10:00 AM EDT
Set 2 Kirk&SonCo Sterling Silver Vessels
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $150
$12 Bids
SIGVARD BERNADOTTE POUR GEORG JENSEN
Jun 03, 3:00 PM CEST
SIGVARD BERNADOTTE POUR GEORG JENSEN
by Tajan
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€1,3002 Bids
Hyde & Goodrich Sterling Mint Julep Cup
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Hyde & Goodrich Sterling Mint Julep Cup
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$112 Bids
WEDDING CUP. HANAU. LATE 19TH CENTURY.
Jun 18, 2:00 PM CEST
WEDDING CUP. HANAU. LATE 19TH CENTURY.
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €300- €400
€2602 Bids
Antique Sterling Silver Baby Cups Flatware Collection
Jun 01, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Sterling Silver Baby Cups Flatware Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$502 Bids
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GEORGE V STERLING SILVER GOOSE EGG CUP, BIRMINGHAM 1925 BY ADIE BROTHERS 56.3 GRAMS
May 30, 9:00 AM AEST
GEORGE V STERLING SILVER GOOSE EGG CUP, BIRMINGHAM 1925 BY ADIE BROTHERS 56.3 GRAMS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD302 Bids
Zwei Schützenbecher
May 31, 9:00 AM CEST
Zwei Schützenbecher
by Auktionshaus Zofingen
Est: CHF120- CHF150
CHF1201 Bid
A Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Cup, marked, 2 1/2" h. 79 grams.
May 25, 1:00 PM EDT
A Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Cup, marked, 2 1/2" h. 79 grams.
by Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
A 19thC Renaissance revival silver cup and cover, H 72,5 cm, total weight ca 2772 g
May 28, 10:00 AM CEST
A 19thC Renaissance revival silver cup and cover, H 72,5 cm, total weight ca 2772 g
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €1,800- €2,500
€1,5001 Bid
Thomas Mason Sterling 1733 English Cup 8.95 ozt
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Thomas Mason Sterling 1733 English Cup 8.95 ozt
by Revere Auctions
Est: $300- $600
$2001 Bid
Fine Set American Sterling Silver Mint Julep Cups
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Fine Set American Sterling Silver Mint Julep Cups
by Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers
Est: $400- $700
$2001 Bid
Set Sterling & Porcelain Demitasse Cups 17.7 ozt
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Set Sterling & Porcelain Demitasse Cups 17.7 ozt
by Revere Auctions
Est: $150- $300
$751 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Sterling Silver Cups


Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Auktionshaus Zofingen

Auktionshaus Zofingen

Taylor & Harris

Taylor & Harris

Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers

Wooten & Wooten Auctioneers