The Pleasure of Objects: The Ian & Carolina Irving Collection

The Pleasure of Objects: The Ian & Carolina Irving Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 101. The Wahup Cup, A George II Silver-Gilt Cup And Cover,  After Designs By William Kent, Elizabeth Godfrey, London, 1747.

The Wahup Cup, A George II Silver-Gilt Cup And Cover, After Designs By William Kent, Elizabeth Godfrey, London, 1747

Auction Closed

January 30, 06:14 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


campana form, the neck applied with ears of wheat above a band of intertwining foliage, the foot with acanthus leaf ornament, the body with two acanthus-leaf capped handles, the cover with a pine cone finial and applied foliate decoration, engraved on one side 'The Legacy of Mrs Sarah Wahup', marked on the base and cover

64 oz; 1990 g

height 10 3/4 in. 27cm.

Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart. (1830-1902) of Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Christie's, London, 14 May 1902, lot 34

Sotheby's, New York, 24 October 2000, lot 329

Snodin, M., William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, edited by Susan Weber, Yale University Press, 2013, illustrated on p.531.

Sarah Wahup (1690-1747) was a wealthy spinster – sufficiently wealthy to be listed in 1742 in (the probably unreliable) A Master-Key to the Rich Ladies Treasury as having a fortune of £20,000. She lived in London but had strong family ties to Ireland, in particular to clergy there, and to the Wauchope family in Scotland: the two surnames are linked. The bequests in her will shows that she had a wide circle of friends and numerous cousins with whom she kept in touch. Of her personally we know little except that she was musical – she subscribed to printed versions of Handel’s operas – and was generous to her servants and to charitable causes. The source of her fortune is unproven, but the cup would have been acquired with funds from one of her many beneficiaries, the main candidates being Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie, near Edinburgh, and the Rev. Dr. John Taylour.


The facts


Sarah Wahup1 was the eldest child of William Wahup (d. 1732)2 and his wife, Margaret (née Stanford, d. 1718),3 who were married at St. James, Duke’s Place, City of London on 8 July 1689. Their daughter was baptised at St. Mary, Hampton, Richmond-upon-Thames on 25 October 1690.


William Wahup’s origins have yet to be discovered,4 but it is known that he was living in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields when on 25 October 1687 he signed the marriage allegation of Edmond Beaghan5(1655/56-1724/25) of Lincoln’s Inn. By the early years of the 18th century, both Wahup and Beaghan were near neighbours in St. James’s Street, Westminster.6Between 1712 and 1714 Wahup was among those appointed as Commissioners for the management of various state lotteries.7


Of the several references to Sarah Wahup which have been found, her subscriptions to the following publications suggest something of her interests: in 1724 she was among the subscribers to Richard Neale’s A Pocket Companion for Gentleman and Ladies: Being a Collection of the finest Opera Songs and Airs, In English and Italian;8 in 1726 she was a subscriber to the printed version of Handel’s Opera, Scipio, which was first performed at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket on 12 March that year. She is also probably the ‘Mrs. Wahup’ among the subscribers to the publication of Dryden’s Alexander’sFeast, or The Power of Musick, which was set to music by Handel and first performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden on 19 February 1736. Both Sarah Wahup and her father were subscribers to Richard Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough’s ATreatise of the Laws of Nature, which was ‘Made English from the Latin by JOHN MAXWELL, M.A. Prebendary of Connor, and Chaplain to his Excellency the Lord CARTERET, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,’ published in London in 1727.


If ‘a Younger Brother’s’ 1742 book, A Master-Key to the Rich Ladies Treasury, or, The Widower and Batchelor’s Directory. Containing An exact Alphabetical List of the Duchess, Marchioness, Countess Viscountess Baroness Dowagers, Ladies by Curtesie, Daughters of Peers, Baronets Widows, Widows, and Spinster in Great-Britain, with an Account of their Places of Abode, Reputed Fortunes and Fortunes they posses in the Stocks is to be believed, Miss Wahup’s fortune amounted to £20,000.9


Sarah Wahup’s will10 was proved in London on 9 September 1747. Among the list of more than 60 beneficiaries are relatives, friends, servants and a number of charitable causes. Money, mostly between five guineas and £50 was allocated for mourning rings, including £50 for a ring to the above-mentioned John Maxwell Esq. of Little Green, Dublin, who she described as ‘my very much esteemed friend and Cousin,’ 20 guineas each to Samuel Hutchinson (d. 1780), then Dean of Dromore, later Bishop of Killala and Achonry, and his wife (Miss Wahup’s cousin), Sophia, daughter of the Rev. James Hutchinson of Ballygraffan; £50 to John Robartes, 4th Earl of Radnor (1686-1757), ‘my good friend and old acquaintance of my father’; £50 each to Robert Montagu, 3rd Duke of Manchester (1710?-1762) and his wife, Harriet (d. 1755), a niece of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and ‘my much honoured friend’; and £50 to Juliana (Noel), Countess Dowager of Burlington (1672-1750), ‘my much Honoured friend. The outstanding amount of £100 for a ring was allocated to Mrs. Ann Arbuthnot,11 ‘my much esteemed friend.’


John Taylour Esquire and his nephew, the Rev. Dr. John Taylor LL.D


A further analysis of the will identifies among Sarah Wahup’s chief beneficiaries ‘the Reverend Doctor John Taylor Doctor of Laws.’ This was John Taylour (1712?-1793), one of the six children of Charles Taylour (1661-1743), and his wife, Mary (1673?-1711), of Golden Lane, Dublin.12Sarah’s will states that to Taylour, ‘I give and bequeath my share in his Uncles House in Pall Mall and five hundred pounds and what plate I have on which is his and his Uncles arms as a Testimony of the grateful sense I have of the many obligations my Self and family owed his late worthy Uncle John Taylor Esquire and his obliging behaviour to my late sister [Eleanor]13 and me since his Uncles Death.’ This Uncle John Taylour (d. 1735) was sometime employed in the Treasury, working with William Lowndes (1652-1724) the senior official there, before being promoted to the position of first of the principal clerks or secretaries in November 1714. For political reasons, his tenure lasted less than a year, ending during the following October, when he was replaced by Horatio Walpole, brother of Robert Walpole, then incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.14


It is no coincidence that with John Taylour senior’s improved status he acquired early in 1715 a grant of arms: ‘Taylour (Westminster); granted 14 February 1714/15. Gu. a chev. arg. fimbriated or, betw. three escallops of the second. Crest. - a leopard’s head erminois.’15


What the exact nature was of the Wahup family’s connection with John Taylour of the Treasury is unclear. They appear not to have been related, but it has been suggested that he and the Wahups were close friends, the latter perhaps benefiting from Taylour’s financial expertise; as we have seen, Sarah Wahup was a lady of fortune, while Taylour himself is said to have died with an estate worth some £40,000.16 Did they perhaps benefit from the considerable profits generated during the first few years’ trading of The South Sea Company (founded in 1711) before the bubble burst in 1720?17


The initial item in Taylour’ will, signed on 9 August 1735 and proved on 13 September following, wherein he is described as of ‘Savill Street’ (i.e. Savile Street, now Savile Row),18reads, ‘I give and bequeath unto Mrs Sarah Wahup spinster the summe of two thousand pounds as a mark of my Esteem for her great merit and uncommon Qualifications.’ After various other bequests he left the remainder of his property to be divided equally among his nephew, the Rev. Dr. John Taylour, and Sarah and Eleanor Wahup, all three of whom he nominated as joint executors.


The Rev. Dr. Taylour also benefited under the terms of the will of another uncle, Charles and John’s brother, William Taylour (1652?-1732) of the parish of St. Clement Dane, sometime ‘Usher of the Long Room in the Custom-House,’ and formerly of Leicester Fields, which was signed on 1 August 1732 and proved on 4 September following.19


Andrew Wauchope Esq. of Niddrie, near Edinburgh


The other main beneficiaries of Sarah Wahup’s will were Andrew Wauchope and members of his family:


‘I give and bequeath to my Cousin Andrew Wauchope Esquire of Neddrie near Edinburgh five hundred pounds to his Son William Wauchope my Godson I give five hundred pounds with all my plate except what has on it the arms [of] John Taylor deceased . . . I give and bequeath to Mrs. Wauchope Wife of Andrew Wauchope Esquire all my Jewells with my own and familys pictures the large Sconces in my Dining Room the picture over the Chimney on which is her Spouses and my Arms My intention being that the same Jewells and pictures after her Second Marriage or Decease shall be the property of her Eldest Son by the said Andrew Wauchope.


Andrew Wauchope (1711-1784) was the son of James Wauchope (1682-1769) and his wife, Janet (née Wallace, 1685-1715). He was married in 1735 to Helen (née Hume, 1712-1780), by whom he had 16 children, the eldest of whom was John Wauchope (1735-1776). The couple’s fourth son, was William Wauchope (1741-1776), Sarah Wahup’s godson.


By the 13 July 1747, however, Miss Wahup altered her wishes regarding the Wauchopes:


‘I cancell and revoke every Legacy Thing and part in the above Will that relates to my Cousin Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie near Edinburgh Esquire I also revoke his being one of my Executors I also cancel and revoke every Legacy in the above Will that is given to the With of the said Andrew Item I give to my Godson William Wauchope Son of the above Andrew five Thousand pounds besides his Legacy in the above Will. Item I appoint the Reverend Doctor John Taylor mentioned in the above Will Guardian and Trustee to the said William.’


What caused Sarah Wahup this change of heart less than three months before her death is unknown. In due course, however, on 4 February 1752 the matter was raised before Lord Hardwicke in the Chancery case, Humphrey v. Tayleur. In the event, His Lordship found that the reference in the codicil to Andrew Wauchope was ‘like erasing his name out’ and therefore pro non scripto (i.e. as if it had never been written).20




Without any mention in Sarah Wahup’s will as to money set aside by her to a beneficiary for the creation of a piece of plate in her memory, we can only guess as to who that individual might have been. Her warm feelings towards the Taylours, uncle and nephew, might suggests that the original owner of the cup was the Rev. Dr. John Taylour of Isleworth. On the other hand, it could have been a member of her Wauchope family in the person of Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie. Until further evidence appears, we can only speculate.


The cup and its design


The present lot shares design elements with a gold cup designed for Col. James Pelham (1683-1761) by William Kent (fig.1), published in 1744 by John Vardy in Some Designs of Mr. Inigo Jones and Mr. William Kent (pl. 29), most noticeably the use of vertical wheat ears. An exact version of the cup was realised in silver shortly after the publication of the designs, hallmarked for London 1745 and with the mark of George Wickes.21 There is a connection between Wickes and Elizabeth Godfrey whose husband Benjamin (died 1741) was working for a John Craig in 1724, possibly as an apprentice, according to the diaries of John Hervey 1st Earl of Bristol.22 The same John Craig is listed later in the diaries in partnership with George Wickes, a partnership corroborated by an advertisement in the Daily Advertiser, 17 March 1731, with their address given as the Hand and Ring on the corner of Norris Street. Benjamin, and later Elizabeth, Godfrey had premises at the Hand, Ring and Crown on the same street. It was not unusual for apprentices, when setting up on their own, to borrow their master's shop sign and combine it with an emblem of their own.23 It is quite possible that George Wickes was commissioned to make the present lot and subcontracted the work out to Godfrey with whom he had a long business relationship.

The following lot after the cup in the 1902 sale was a silver-gilt salver with the same wheat ear decoration, also marked for Godfrey, 1747. The whereabouts of this salver are unknown.

Oxburgh Hall has been the home of the Bedingfeld family for 500 years. It is now a National Trust property, open to the public. Sir Henry Richard Paston - Bedingfeld - 6th. bart. married in 1826 Margaret Anne, the only child of her and Edward Paston of Paston, owner of the famous Paston Treasure Painting.





1. Usually described as ‘Mrs. Sarah Wahup,’ she was actually a spinster. The appellation ‘Mrs.’ was common in the 18th century for unmarried ladies of a certain age and social standing.

2. He was buried at St. James, Piccadilly on 26 March 1732.

3. ‘No. 131. AStoneMonument. Near this place lyeth the body of MARGARET WAHUP, wife of WILLIAM WAHUP, esq, of the parish of St. James, Westminster, who departed this life the 22d day of May, 1718, aged 54 years.’ (J. Salmon, An Historical Description of the Church Dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul in Bath, Bath, 1778, p. 65)

4. Wahup appears to be one of the variations of the Scottish surname, Wauchope.

5. Described as Edmund Beaghan Esq. of East Bradenham, Norfolk, his will was signed on 3 December 1724 and proved on 19 February following (National Archives, Kew, PROB 11/601/337). By the death of his first wife, Anne (d. 1685), one of the daughters of Sir John Baker, 3rd Bt. (d. 1661), Beaghan acquired a share in the estate of Sissinghurst, Kent (for further information, see Nicholas Kingsley, ‘Landed families of Britain and Ireland,’, accessed 30 July 2023).

6. ‘Mr. William Wahup, of St. James's, Westminster,’ is listed as among the subscribers to Loiuis Moréri’s

 The great historical, geographical and poetical dictionaryN; Beaghan’s will (PROB 11/601/337)

7. The Evening Post, London, Tuesday-Thursday, 19-21 August 1712, p. 3a; The Post Boy, London, Thursday-Saturday, 8-10 October 1713, p. 1b; The Post Boy, London, Saturday-Tuesday, 31 July – 3 August 1714, p. 2a

8. ‘Carefully Corrected, & also Figur’d for ye Organ, Harpsicord, and Spinet by Mr. Rid. Neale Organist of St. James’s Garlick-hill,’ London, [1724], p. XIb)

9. p. 31

10. Will with three codicils signed on 10 June 1746, 13 July 1747 and 17 August 1747 (National Archives, Kew, PROB 11/757/20)

11. Ann Arbuthnot may have been related to Dr. John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), the Scottish physician and polymath.

12. Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, vol. VI, Dublin, 1906, p. 529. ‘[Died] 7 [January 1793]. At Isleworth, in Middlesex, in his 93d [sic] year, after lingering near four months in a helpless, melancholy situation, the Rev. John Taylour, LL.D. He was born in England [sic], and educated at the university of Dublin, where he took his degrees. When he entered into orders, he was appointed chaplain to the Earl of Roscommon; but, though a very sincere approver of the doctrines and discipline of the Established Church, never was possessed of an ecclesiastical preferment. On the death of his uncle, who left him a plentiful fortune, he returned to England, married Miss Margaret Sparrow, of Fleet-street, and settled at Isleworth, where he lived to the time of his death, generally beloved by his neighbours, and a numerous and respectable acquaintance, for his great hospitality, benevolence, and chearfulness [sic]. He had an only son, who died a young man. Dr. T., has left his estate in Ireland to his nephew for life; and, if he dies without issue, to the Dublin Society for the promoting Protestant Charity schools; about 2000£. in legacies to his servants, &c.; 300£. to the Isleworth charity-school; and the interest of 500£. to increase the quantity of bread distributed every Sunday morning, after divine service, to the poor of that parish; and to different persons, for their lives, annuities to the amount of about 1100£. the interest of money in the funds. As the annuitants dies, the annuities fall to the governors of Queen Anne’s bounty for augmenting small livings in England and Wales.’ (The Gentleman’s Magazine, London, March 1793, p. 281) ‘The following inscriptions are found upon the pavement at the east end of [Isleworth parish church]: . . . “MARGARET, wife of Rev. Dr. JOHN TAYLOUR, of Isleworth, died Oct. 16, 1777. JOHN, their son, died April 16, 1774. JOHN TAYLOUR, LL.D. died Jan. 7, 1793, aged 81”’ (George James Aungier, The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery, the Parish of Isleworth, and the Chapelry of Hounslow, London, 1840, p. 159). The Rev. Dr. Taylour’s ‘genuine, curious, and very valuable LIBRARY . . . brought from his House at Isleworth,’ was sold by Leigh and Sotheby, York Street, Covent Garden on Thursday, 6 June 1793 and three days following. (The Times, London, Monday, 3 June 1793, p. 4d.

13. Eleanor Wahup, born on 25 January 1695, baptised at St. James, Piccadilly on 6 February following and buried at St. Mary, Hendon, Middlesex on 18 May 1741.

14. Dora Mae Clark, ‘The Office of Secretary to the Treasury in the Eighteenth Century,’ The American Historical Review, Oxford University Press, October 1936, pp. 22-45.

15. Sir Bernard Burke, The General Armory, London, 1884, p. 1001

16. ‘DEATHS. . . . Aug. 30 [1735] John Taylor, Esq. in Saville Row. He desir’d to be buried in the common Churchyard of St James’s Parish, without the tolling of the Bell, and no Stone or Ornament over his Grave. He was one of the chief Clerks of the Treasury when Sidney, Earl of Godolphin, was Lord high Treasurer, and having acquir’d a Fortune of near 40,000£. he bequeath’d it all to his Relations and Friends.’ (The Gentleman’s Magazine, London, September 1735, p. 559a); he was buried at St. James, Piccadilly on 11 September 1735.

17. See 13 May 1714, Calendar of Treasury Books, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1955, British History Online,, accessed 8 August 2023

18. National Archives, Kew, PROB 11/673/97. See also Crown Leases, 1735/36, relating to ‘The farm of a messuage and garden in Pall Mall St.’ (National Archives, Kew, E 367/4419 and 6922)

19. He was buried in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey, see Joseph Lemuel Chester, editor, The Marriage, Baptismal, and Burial Registers of the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St. Peter, Westminster,Harleian Society,London, 1876, p. 336. He is perhaps mentioned in a letter written by Dr. John Arbuthnot (for whom see note 11, above) on 4 September 1721 (George A. Aitken, The Life and Works of John Arbuthnot, Oxford, 1892, p. 97)

20. Charles Ambler, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the High Court of Chancery, London, 1790, pp. 136-139)

21. Barr, E., George Wickes: Royal Goldsmith 1698-1761, New York 1980, p.96

22. Rothwell, J., Silver for Entertaining: The Ickworth Collection, Philip Wilson Publishers 2017, Appendix One, p.229

23. Heale, A., The London Goldsmiths 1200-1800, Cambridge University Press 1935, page 42