Communion Beaker thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries

Communion Beaker

Place Of Origin

This beaker forms part of an impressively austere altar service given to the English Reformed Church in The Hague between 1673 and 1711 by different members of the congregation. Donated in 1674, the beaker bears the donor’s arms and the inscription ‘The Gift of George Carew Esquire to Remain with the English Church in the Hague for Ever May the 15 1674’. It would have been used during Holy Communion, in place of a chalice, to serve the consecrated wine. The stand was a later addition to protect the altar cloth.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cups
  • Stand
Materials and Techniques
Silver, raised and engraved
Brief Description
The beakers bear the donor's arms and the inscription 'The Gift of George Carew Esquire to Remain with the English Church in the Hague for Ever May the 15th 1674'. The stands were a later addition in 1711 to protect the altar cloth.
Gallery Label
Communion Beakers and Stands This beaker forms part of an impressively austere altar service given to the English Reformed Church in The Hague between 1673 and 1711 by different members of the congregation. Donated in 1674, the beaker bears the donor’s arms and the inscription ‘The Gift of George Carew Esquire to Remain with the English Church in the Hague for Ever May the 15 1674’. It would have been used during Holy Communion, in place of a chalice, to serve the consecrated wine. The stand was a later addition to protect the altar cloth. The Hague, the Netherlands, 1673; by Aelbrecht van Wingaerden (1623–98), the stands 1711, by Jean du Vignon (1683–1746) Silver Museum nos. M.9, 10-1995(22/11/2005)
Object history
Historical significance: Part of a remarkable group of plate from the English Reformed Church in The Hague which was given to the church by individual members of the congregation.
Historical context
Gifts to the Church

Gifts were the most important source of English church plate in the 17th century. The donor was usually a prominent member of the community, which in country parishes often meant the local landowner. But gifts came from other sources too. Many were given by women, showing their active involvement with the church. Churchwardens also took pride in commissioning new silver and often contributed to the cost. Occasionally, gifts like Lord Hertford’s chalice and flagon were made to win support for a political cause.



Not all of these gifts were new. Old-fashioned domestic plate, often richly decorated with secular ornament, was welcomed and used for the service of communion or the collection of alms.



Church Plate from The Hague

This impressively austere service was given to the English Reformed Church in The Hague between 1673 and 1711 by different members of the congregation. It was made by four different local goldsmiths. The provision of stands for the vessels is most unusual. The church closed in 1822, and the plate was later used in the chapel of the British Embassy in The Hague.



One of a pair of communion beakers and stands, the beakers were given by George Carew to the English Reformed Church at The Hague in 1673.
Summary
This beaker forms part of an impressively austere altar service given to the English Reformed Church in The Hague between 1673 and 1711 by different members of the congregation. Donated in 1674, the beaker bears the donor’s arms and the inscription ‘The Gift of George Carew Esquire to Remain with the English Church in the Hague for Ever May the 15 1674’. It would have been used during Holy Communion, in place of a chalice, to serve the consecrated wine. The stand was a later addition to protect the altar cloth.
Bibliographic Reference
E.A.Jones,'Old Silver Sacramental Vessels of Some English Churches in Holland', The Burlington Magazine, volume 13, April 1908.
Collection
Accession Number
M.10:1, 2-1995

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record createdDecember 3, 2004
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