The Company has always maintained a collection of plate, with pieces ranging from silver spoons gifted to the Company by its medieval members, to elaborate Victorian table pieces.Company’s steeple cups
Plate was often used as a disposable asset before the age of banking, and used to pay debts such as those exacted by the Crown. Of the surviving pieces, a number are regularly used by the Company on formal occasions and dinners.
Amongst the most important pieces are the four Master and Wardens’ steeple cups made between 1609-1624. The cups came to play an important role in ceremonial occasions and the Company was careful to ensure over the centuries that they were not sold. Replicas of the cups are often used whilst the more fragile originals are displayed in the Company’s vaults.
A more recent addition to the collection is the Master’s badge, made in 1933 by Omar Ramsden to mark the 600th anniversary of the 1333 ordinances. Three new steeple cups were also given to the Company by members in 2000 to mark the new millenium.
Other treasures owned by the Company include three sixteenth century wall paintings from the first Hall, now incorporated into the present Hall. The Tudor crowns worn by the Master and Wardens on ceremonial occasions are amongst the oldest in the City of London, with the Master’s crown dating from 1561.