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Communion cup and cover

Communion cup and cover

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1683 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt, raised and engraved

  • Museum number:

    M.5:2-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 2B []

These small and easily portable cups were used for administering communion to the sick at home. They held the consecrated wine. Rare early survivals, the cups belonged to St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, one of London’s most celebrated churches. St James’s Piccadilly was the only other London parish recorded as owning a sick cup at this date.

Physical description

A small silver-gilt cup on trumpet-shaped foot with moulded girdles, the deep cylindrical bowl with low domed paten cover with spool form foot.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1683 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt, raised and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

maker's mark MK mullet above and below in lozenge shaped shield, numbered '29' and engraved 'St. Martins Par: for Priv.Com. April 10 1684'

Dimensions

Height: 13.2 cm

Object history note

The churchwardens' accounts for St. Martin's document the purchase of all of the silver including three gilt cups and covers which were acquired by Mr. John Smalbone, Churchwarden in April/May 1683/4 for £10 16 shillings

Historical significance: Used for administering communion to the sick at home, these cups are small for convenience of carriage and because the capacity needed was limited. They are rare early survivals. St. James's Piccadilly was the only other church documented as owning a 'sick' cup at this date.

Historical context note

St. Martin's-in-the-Fields is one of London's most celebrated churches. By 1683 the old Tudor church housed an expanding congregation.

Descriptive line

A silver-gilt cup and cover, one of a pair, made for giving communion to the sick and infirm for use in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields from 1683

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

Edwin Freshfield, The Communion Plate of the Parish Churches in the County of London, 1895,p.50

Labels and date

Communion Cups and Covers for the Sick

These small and easily portable cups were used for administering communion to the
sick at home. They held the consecrated wine. Rare early survivals, the cups belonged to St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, one of London’s most celebrated churches. St James’s Piccadilly was the only other London parish recorded as owning a sick cup at this date.

England (London), 1683–4
Silver gilt
Museum nos. M.4-2005; M.5-2005
Given by The Whiteley Trust [22/11/2005]

Materials

Silver-gilt

Techniques

Raising; Engraving

Categories

Metalwork; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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