Designed by Henry Hugh Armstead (British, London 1828–1905 London)
for firm of Hancock and Co., London, England
Silver, parcel gilt
Diameter: 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm)
Gift of Margaret A. Darrin, 1990
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556
This large dish was the prize winner of the Stockbridge race, run every year, with a silver "cup" for the owner of the winning horse. The value of the silver being the monetary value of the prize, in 1870 the value of the prize was 280 pounds—a considerable sum then. The name of the winning horse was Mortimer and the owner was a T. French. The length of the course was seven furlongs (1.75 miles).
The scenes around the border and in the center of the plate recall the days of the early Norman kings William I, William II, and Henry I, whose seat was at Winchester, not far from Stockbridge. Scenes from their eventful lives are pictured in the six ovals on the border of the dish. The central scene shows the near fatal ambush of Henry I in Dives, a town on the Channel coast of Normandy, the harbor from where his father William, duke of Normandy, had launched his successful invasion of Britain in 1066. The trophy is in the style of Henry Hugh Armstead (1828–1905), who may have teamed up with the Italian sculptor Raffaelle Monti (1818–1881) for the figural elements. Of great interest from a design standpoint are the six interlaced quasi-Celtic knots set between the scenes on the border, an early example of the Celtic Revival.
Signature: Around rim: HANCOCKS & CO. 39 BRUTON ST. LONDON
Marking:  sterling standard;  maker's mark of C.F. Hancock;  London date letter for 1870–71