John Gilpin’s Wild Ride

Online | 22 April

As John Gilpin rode helplessly atop a runaway horse, what began as a simple journey to meet his wife for their wedding anniversary, devolved into a raucous comedic caper. Holding on dearly as he sped out of town, poor John Gilpin lost his hat, his wig, his cloak and most importantly, his wine – two large bottles to celebrate his special occasion. The ridiculous, comedic ballad was an instant hit when English poet William Cowper published it in 1782. Nearly 100 years later, when the Stockbridge Races in Hampshire, Southern England, were awarding the winner of “The Stockbridge Cup,” they presented this dashing Victorian Silver Punch Bowl, by John Hunt and Robert Roskell, emblazoned with familiar scenes from Gilpin’s most perilous pursuit. This April, this magnificent punch bowl is offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Style: Silver, Furniture, Ceramics Auction. (22 April | Online)

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