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'Unique' piece of town's history given to museum after donation to Keech Cottage by Mayor Dorothy Thornhill
A tiny commemorative cup carrying the crest of Watford has been handed over to the town’s museum for the princely sum of £20.
Watford’s elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, made the donation to the Keech Hospice at its Meriden charity shop today for the small piece of pottery, which has been deemed a unique piece of Watford’s history.
The cup was discovered when it was donated to the shop, in The Gossamers, as part of a 30-piece set in April.
It was initially thought to an original piece by the famous pottery-makers Wedgewood, but it is thought to be an imitation in the Wedgewood style.
However the fact it bears the crest of the Watford District Urban Council means the piece was most likely made before 1922, when Watford was given its borough charter.
The cup will now be housed in Watford Museum , in Lower High Street, where it will go on display later this week.
Sarah Priestley, heritage officer at Watford Museum , has been looking into the cup’s background since its discovery.
She said although it may not be an authentic Wedgewood. as was first hoped, the cup was a special piece of the town’s past.
Ms Priestley said: "I have not come across anything quite like it. This is something completely unique for the museum."
The mint condition royal blue cup is has three handles with crest of Watford and town’s Latin motto "Audentior" emblazoned on the front.
On the sides of the cup two lyre-playing cherubs are depicted.
The cherubs are thought to be on the cup due to being an imitation of Wedgewood, which used classical imagery in its work.
Yet the story of how it came to end up in the Keech shop remains a mystery.
Mayor Thornhill said she was pleased the piece had been discovered but appealed for anyone who knew more about its past to come forward and shed some light on its history.
She said: "It is always lovely to find a little piece of Watford’s history. I would love to find out more about how it got here as that remains a mystery."
The cup was discovered by Sue Gordon, a volunteer at the shop, as she was sorting out the donated imitation Wedgewood set.
Staff at the shop then contacted the museum to see of the piece had any historic value.
Stephanie Mason, the manager at the shop, said it was not every day that a noteworthy artefact was donated to the shop.
She added: "It’s nice to make sure it has gone to its proper home. The volunteers here will have their eyes peeled to see if any more come through that door."