To The City Born
In the mayoral years 1875-76 and 1877-78 the serving mayors Frederick Morshead and John Clifton became proud fathers and, it would seem, Winchester a proud city. In a wave of public good feeling both mayors were presented with gifts by the City and its citizens as a memento of the births; Morshead with a silver loving cup and Clifton with a silver table centrepiece.
However, ultimately the city benefited as both objects were gifted back to the city and now form part of the civic silver collection.
The loving cup, so called because of the extra handles which enable the chain of holders, and therefore symbolically the chain of friendship, to remain unbroken during a toast has lions for handles and is decorated with blue enamel and red coral. The silver centrepiece is surmounted with an angel guarding a baby in a crib.
Councillor Therese Evans, Portfolio Holder for Cultural Services commented that 'Mayors have often donated gifts to the city and the Guildhall's secure display case allows the Museums Service to give wider public access to items of the civic collection'. She added that "the loving cup, with its symbolism of friendship, is a great favourite of mine".
Both the cup and the centrepiece can be seen glimmering in the display case next to the entrance to the gallery in Winchester Guildhall along with photos of both mayors. Unfortunately the fortunes of the children remain a mystery, unless someone knows more?
The objects can be seen during normal Guildhall opening hours.