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Chalice

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel gilt and enamel, garnets and amethysts

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by St. George's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Southwark

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL.2-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 4B

The chalice, typical of French ecclesiastical metalwork between 1820 and 1920, was used during the Mass to serve the consecrated wine. It is based on medieval prototypes but made by industrial methods. The filigree and enamel were therefore cheaper processes than they had been in the past, though they came in a limited range of colours.

Physical description

Silver, parcel gilt with circular enamel plaques of the Holy Family around the bowl and saints around the foot. Filigree decoration encases the bowl and foot. Compresssed spherical knot and stepped collet above the sexfoil foot. Decorated with semi precious jewels.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel gilt and enamel, garnets and amethysts

Marks and inscriptions

French silver guarantee mark used between 1838 and 1938

Unidentified mark of C/V?

On foot engraved: " In Mem Joannis Butt et Jacobi Connelly ora pro eis".

Dimensions

Height: 26 cm, Diameter: 15.5 cm of base

Historical context note

The Gothic Revival
In the Victorian period a dramatic and profound change took place in religious life. Centred on a renewed interest in the Middle Ages, it affected the appearance of churches and how services were conducted. The influential architect A.W.N. Pugin promoted the Gothic as the true Christian style. Although Pugin was Catholic, his theory appealed to Anglicans of the Oxford Movement - radicals who hoped to restore pre-Reformation services to the Church of England.

The Cambridge Camden Society, founded in 1839, studied the past to identify the medieval architecture and furnishings that would be appropriate for the revived services. The society became an arbiter of style, offering an Anglicised version of the Gothic. By the 1870s some of the equipment normally found in Catholic worship, such as the ciborium, was appearing in Anglican churches.

It was not universally welcomed. Some observers found the incense, the altar cross and the emphasis on ritual scandalously 'Popish' or 'high church'.

The Gothic Revival in Europe
The Gothic revival in Europe owed more to nationalism than religious zeal. The completion of Cologne's medieval cathedral was an affirmation of German culture. In the Habsburg empire, Czechs and Hungarians similarly expressed national pride through Gothic architecture.

Champions of the Gothic claimed by the 1850s that the style was triumphant in Europe. But classical architecture remained a serious rival, even in church building. Much of the most important Gothic work was in church restoration. In Germany and France, goldsmiths like Franz Xaver Hellner supplied Gothic church furnishings.

Descriptive line

Chalice, silver, parcel-gilt, semi precious stones, made in France, about 1900

Labels and date

Chalice
The chalice, typical of French ecclesiastical metalwork between 1820 and 1920, was used during the Mass to serve the consecrated wine. It is based on medieval prototypes but made by industrial methods. The filigree and enamel were therefore cheaper processes than they had been in the past, though they came in a limited range of colours.

France, about 1900
Silver, partly gilded
Lent by St George's Roman Catholic Cathedral,
Southwark; given in memory of James Connelly
and Bishop Butt (died 1899) [22/11/2005]

Materials

Silver; Parcel gilt; Enamel; Semi-precious stone

Categories

Metalwork; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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