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Russian 875 Silver Collared Dog Stirrup Cup, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Akiba.

Animal-form stirrup cup collection heads to Akiba May 23

DANIA BEACH, FL — Six 19th-century stirrup cups provide a fascinating look at Russian silversmith artistry on Thursday, May 23 at Akiba GalleriesHidden Gems sale. The complete 558-lot catalog is now open for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Stirrup cups seem to have originated in England, where a final toast was given to departing guests, whose feet were already in their horses’ stirrups. Because the cups when full didn’t need a base for sitting on a tabletop, artisans began fashioning them in all sorts of fanciful designs.

The six examples being sold at Akiba all seem to hail from St. Petersburg in Imperial Russia. Most are estimated at $2,000-$4,000 and include excellent designs such as a collared dog, a horse, a fox, and even an elephant. Most are hallmarked beneath the rim with the AK assayer’s mark, which dates them to the 1860s. They also include 84, SA in Latin characters, and the St. Petersburg crest.