Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare and Literary Pilgrimage
2. The Jubilee Cup
This tankard was made about 1769 to commemorate Garrick’s Jubilee. Made of wood supposedly cut from Shakespeare’s cult tree, it is one of the implausibly numerous souvenir items made from it by William Sharp and other local craftsmen. The depiction of Shakespeare is derived from the statue in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, or rather, from the copy which Garrick had made to give to Stratford Town Hall, a gift commemorated by his Jubilee Ode. This transposition rethought the metropolitan and urban Shakespeare as provincial and pastoral. The tankard is thought to have been the Jubilee Cup won by Mr Pratt’s horse Whirligig at the steeple-chase run on 8 September, 1769, one of many local events staged in association with the Jubilee; famously, these did not include a performance of anything written by Shakespeare.
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