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Chalice

  • Place of origin:

    Amiens (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500-1520 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, gilded silver and enamel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh

  • Museum number:

    M.9-1950

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 84, The Whiteley Galleries, case 2

The chalice would have been used during the Mass to serve the consecrated wine. The matching paten, used to serve the consecrated bread, is missing.

Physical description

Chalice with bell- shaped bowl, gilt internally on small gilt calyx of 8 stylised petals, the knop of 8 lobes decorated with petals, set with 8 bosses, formerly enamelled, the octafoil foot engraved with ragged cross, pierced with 2 nails.

Place of Origin

Amiens (made)

Date

ca. 1500-1520 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, gilded silver and enamel

Marks and inscriptions

Punched on the rim of the bowl and on the underside of the foot:
The letters 'AM' in Gothic script, the town mark of Amiens; the letter 'a' in Gothic script, the warden's mark for the assay year; a crown surmounting an illegible motif, the maker's mark.
[Lightbown (1978), cat. 16, identifies the warden's mark as a 'C', but the marks were examined on 05/01/2015 by Martine Plouvier, conservateur en chef aux Archives Nationales, who suggested the letter should be re-read as an 'A'.]
There also appears to be an illegible French tax control mark punched on the rim of the chalice bowl.

Dimensions

Height: 18.4 cm Base of foot to rim of chalice, Diameter: 13.8 cm Across maximum width of underside of foot, Diameter: 9.4 cm Across chalice bowl, Weight: 337.1 g

Object history note

Gift from Dr Hildburgh.

Historical context note

Medieval Worship

Until the 16th century Roman Catholicism was the universal faith of the Western world and Latin was its universal language. The needs of church ritual inspired the production of a range of richly decorated vessels and vestments, crosses and images in the form of altarpieces. Many were made of gold or silver, adorned with enamels or gems, precious materials seen as symbolic of the reverence due to the worship of God. Less wealthy churches used cheaper vessels in copper, brass or pewter.

The celebration of Mass was and remains the most important service of the Roman Catholic liturgy. For this the minimum requirements are an altar, a chalice and missal, the book of texts necessary for the Mass. Holy Communion or Eucharist is that part of the Mass in which the people participate in the sacrifice of Christ, by partaking of his body and blood in the consecrated bread and wine, held in the chalice and paten.

Descriptive line

Silver and gilded silver, with applied enamelled plaques (the enamel mostly missing), France, Amiens, 1500-1525, maker's mark a crown above an illegible motif

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

Lightbown, Ronald. French Silver. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1978. ISBN 0112902502

Labels and date

Chalice

The chalice would have been used during the Mass to serve the consecrated wine. The matching paten, used to serve the consecrated bread, is missing.

Amiens, France, 1500-20; maker's mark a crown above an illegible motif, warden's mark 'C'
Silver, partly gilded
Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh FSA
Museum nos. M.9-1950 [27/10/2005]

Materials

Silver; Gold

Techniques

Parcel-gilded

Categories

Religion; Christianity; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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