A fine Victorian presentation silver centrepiece,
by John Samuel Hunt, overstamping another maker, London 1851,
modelled as a lady falconer seated on a horse, holding her falcon in her left hand about to let it fly and holding the falcon's hood in her right hand, beside her a standing cadger looks on carrying his padded wooden cadge frame mounted with three falcons, at the horse's feet lies a dead heron, on a raised rocky base, mounted on a lack wooden base, the front and back applied with the Dutch Royal Coat of Arms, and applied 'LOO CHALLENGE CUP 1851', the other end applied 'CHALLENGE CUP GIVEN BY HM THE KING OF THE NETEHRLANDS TO BE WON TWO YEARS IN SUCCESSION BY THE SAME PERSON WON IN 1851 AND 1852, BY MR STIRLING CRAWFURD'S DARKIE', height of figures 52.5cm, total height 71cm, approx. weight 176oz.
Provenance: William Stuart Sterling Crawfurd and then by descent to the present owner.
William Stuart Stirling Crawfurd (1819-1887) was passionate about racing. His great step niece, The Baroness of Kilbridge, Helen Constance Stuart Stevenson, wrote in her book titled 'Helen is my name':
'Uncle Crawfurd, having such good race horses, was one of the young men asked by King William of the Netherlands to bring his horses to race privately at Loo racecourse at Dorn in Holland. King William was much interested in the breeding and racing of horses and had his own club. It was called the hawking club and in spite of my extensive inquiries here and in Holland the origin of the name is a mystery. All racing trophies bore some representation to the art of hawking.'