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Dish

Dish

  • Place of origin:

    Hamburg (made)

  • Date:

    1698-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wilken, Bartholomaus (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by the Rector and Churchwardens of St. Mary-le-Strand with St. Clement Danes

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:ST MARY STRAND.7

  • Gallery location:

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

The salver is part of a large set of altar plate that Elinor James, the widow of a London printer, gave to St Benet Paul’s Wharf in 1711. After her death in 1719, the set was transferred to the church of St Mary-le-Strand.

Elinor James was a champion of the Church of England. Described by a contemporary as a ‘mixture of benevolence and madness’, she was intolerant of Roman Catholics and dissenters alike. In 1689 she was committed to Newgate Prison for libel on account of her book The Vindication of the Church of England. Her obsessive piety is reflected in the inscription on the salver, ‘This is Dedicated to ye God of Charity by which man is in hopes to attain Eternal Salvation. O blessed is the man that is Endowed with that Heavenly gift I rest Elinor James.’

Other items in the set consisted of two flagons, a cup, a paten and a crimson velvet altar cloth.

Physical description

Dish, circular with repousse rim, (one of a pair), decorated with foliate scrollwork and flowers with a later engraved inscription in the centre

Place of Origin

Hamburg (made)

Date

1698-1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Wilken, Bartholomaus (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Town mark for Hamburg; and man-at-arms holding a halberd; inscribed with the weights
and with the engraved inscription,' This is dedicated to ye God of Charity by which man is in hopes to attain Eternall Salvation. O blessed is the man that is endowed with that Heavenly gift. I rest Elinor James

Dimensions

Diameter: 26.0 cm, Depth: 8 cm

Object history note

Given by Elinor James to St Benet Paul's Wharf and transferred to St. Mary le Strand after her death.

Historical significance: Gifts of Elinor James
This plate comes from a larger set given by Elinor James in 1711. She was the widow of a London printer. Described by a contemporary as a ‘mixture of benevolence and madness’, she was an eccentric champion of the Church of England, intolerant of Roman Catholics and dissenters alike. In 1689 Elinor was committed to Newgate Prison for libel on account of her book The Vindication of the Church of England. The exceptionally long inscriptions on these objects reflect her obsessive piety.

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.

Part of a larger gift of altar plate made by Elinor James in 1712

Descriptive line

A silver-gilt salver made in Hamburg, Germany for secular use and given to St. Benet Paul's Wharf, London in 1711 by Mrs. Elinor James with a dedicatory inscription

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Edwin Freshfield, The Communion Plate of the Parish Churches in the County of London, London: Rixon and Arnold, 1895, p.56.
Silver and the Church. The 1400th anniversary of the Diocese of London. An exhibition held at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, 19 April - 15 May 2004, curated by Timothy Schroder. Silver Studies: Special Issue, no. 1 (The Silver Society: 2004), ISBN 0954914406; reprinted in Church Plate in England. Two exhibitions held at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, curated by Timothy Schroder: Treasures of the English Church: A Thousand years of sacred gold and silver 800 - 2000 (2008); Silver and the Church. The 1400th anniversary of the Diocese of London (2004), in: Silver Studies. The Journal of the Silver Society, Special Issue, 24 (2009).

Labels and date

Salver
The salver is part of a large set of altar plate that Elinor James, the widow of a London printer, gave to St Benet Paul’s Wharf in 1711. After her death in 1719, the set was transferred to the church of St Mary-le-Strand.

Elinor James was a champion of the Church of England. Described by a contemporary as a ‘mixture of benevolence and madness’, she was intolerant of Roman Catholics and dissenters alike. In 1689 she was committed to Newgate Prison for libel on account of her book The Vindication of the Church of England. Her obsessive piety is reflected in the inscription on the salver, ‘This is Dedicated to ye God of Charity by which man is in hopes to attain Eternal Salvation. O blessed is the man that is Endowed with that Heavenly gift I rest Elinor James.’

Other items in the set consisted of two flagons, a cup, a paten and a crimson velvet altar cloth.

Hamburg, Germany, 1698–1700; by Bartholomaus
Wilken (master 1697); one of a pair
Silver gilt
Lent by Rector and Churchwardens of St Mary-le-
Strand with St Clement Danes [22/11/2005]

Materials

Silver-gilt

Techniques

Engraving; Embossing

Categories

Metalwork; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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