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Chalice

Chalice

  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1773-1774 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Boulton, Matthew, born 1728 - died 1809 (maker)
    Fothergill, John (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, cast

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by the Vicar and Churchwardens of St. Bartholomew's, Orford, Suffolk

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:ORFORDPCC.2-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 2A

This chalice was used in Protestant worship to serve the consecrated wine during Holy Communion. It was given to the united parishes of Sudborne and Orford, in Suffolk, by Lord Hertford, then Lord Chamberlain and the Member of Parliament for Orford. His gift was calculated to win political support, but to keep the cost down the order stipulated that the vessels should be ‘as light as the nature of the work would possibly admit’. There was a matching flagon and Matthew Boulton charged £35 4s for the two.

Physical description

silver, vase-shaped body on tall baluster stem with fluted base.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)

Date

1773-1774 (made)

Artist/maker

Boulton, Matthew, born 1728 - died 1809 (maker)
Fothergill, John (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, cast

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved under the foot 'Given by the Earl of Hertford to the United Parishes of Sudborne and Orford'.

Dimensions

Height: 24.1 cm, Diameter: 12.7 cm of the bowl, Diameter: 10.8 cm of the base

Object history note

The communion cup was commissioned by Francis, Earl of Hertford with a matching flagon from the Birmingham manufacturers Boulton and Fothergill and given to the united parishes of Sudborne and Orford in Suffolk. To keep the cost down the order stipulated that the vessels should be ' as light as the nature of the work would possibly admit'. Matthew Boulton charged £35 4s for the two pieces

Historical significance: The gift was calculated to win political support.

Historical context note

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.

The donor, Lord Hertford, was Lord Chamberlain and represented Orford as a 'Rotten Borough' in Parliament.

Descriptive line

Silver, Birmingham hallmarks for 1773-4, mark of Boulton and Fothergill

Labels and date

Chalice and Flagon
This chalice was used in Protestant worship to serve the consecrated wine during Holy Communion. It was given to the united parishes of Sudborne and Orford, in Suffolk, by Lord Hertford, then Lord Chamberlain and the Member of Parliament for Orford. His gift was calculated to win political support, but to keep the cost down the order stipulated that the vessels should be ‘as light as the nature of the work would possibly admit’. There was a matching flagon and Matthew Boulton charged £35 4s for the two.

This flagon was used in Protestant worship to hold the communion wine. It was given to the united parishes of Sudborne and Orford, in Suffolk, by Lord Hertford, then Lord Chamberlain and the Member of Parliament for Orford. His gift was calculated to win political support, but to keep the cost down the order stipulated that the vessels should be ‘as light as the nature of the work would possibly admit’. There was a matching chalice and Matthew Boulton charged £35 4s for the two.

Birmingham, England, 1773–4;
by Matthew Boulton (1728–1809) and
John Fothergill (died 1782)
Silver
Lent by the Vicar and Churchwardens
of St Bartholomew’s, Orford, Suffolk [22/11/2003]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Cast; Engraving

Categories

Metalwork; Religion; Christianity

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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