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Incense boat
  • Incense boat
    Lavy, Lorenzo, born 1720 - died 1789
  • Enlarge image

Incense boat

  • Place of origin:

    Turin (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1760-1762 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lavy, Lorenzo, born 1720 - died 1789 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by the Church of St. Anselm and St. Cecilia, Kingsway

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:ST ANSELM.2

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 3

The Sardinian Embassy Plate

This incense boat forms part of a service made for Roman Catholic worship. The maker, Lorenzo Lavy, was a goldsmith and medallist from Turin who trained in Paris. His work, in the latest Parisian style, is typical of silver produced for the court of the Duchy of Savoy.

The Duchy of Savoy was represented in London by the Sardinian embassy in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The embassy chapel, with seven chaplains, was one of the most prestigious in London, and its services were open to the public. The survival of this altar service is a unique reminder of an openly practised form of Catholicism, from a time when the faith was severely restricted in England.

Physical description

Incense boat, silver, stamped with the mark of Lorenzo Lavy, Turin, about 1760. The boat of curved upper profile with rococo shell decoration on trumpet shaped foot.

Place of Origin

Turin (made)

Date

ca. 1760-1762 (made)

Artist/maker

Lavy, Lorenzo, born 1720 - died 1789 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped with the double L cipher for the maker, Turin

Dimensions

Height: 15.5 cm, Length: 22.50 cm, Width: 8 cm, Weight: 16.64 oz

Object history note

Supplied for use at the Sardinian Embassy Chapel; passed to its successor St. Anselm and St. Cecilia, Kingsway.The altar service originally included a chalice with paten, a ciborium, a monstrance, holy water bucket, sanctus bell and a set of six candlesticks. Only the candlesticks are known to survive in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Historical significance: The chapel was damaged by fire in 1759 and destroyed again during the Gordon Riots in 1780, so the survival of the silver in excellent condition demonstrates that it must have been stored elsewhere

Historical context note

Used by the Catholic community which worshipped at the Sardinian Embassy Chapel from about 1760

Descriptive line

A silver incense boat made by Lorenzo Lavy, Turin, about 1760 and supplied for the use of the Catholic chapel of the Sardinian Embassy, London

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

Charles Oman, The Plate of the Chapel of the Sardinian Embassy, The Burlington Magazine, October 1966,vol.108, no.763,pp.500-503, fig.10

Labels and date

Altar Plate Silver Turin work about 1760 Mostly with the mark of Lorenzo Lavy and with the assayer's mark of Carlo Micha. A cross, censer, incense-boat and cruets with a salver, engraved with the arms of Carlo Emmanuele III, King of Sardinia. Lent by the Church of St. Anselm and St. Cecilia (formerly the Sardinian Embassy Chapel). [1966]
Altar Cross, Censer, Incense Boat, Salver
and Pair of Cruets

[The Sardinian Embassy Plate ]

This group forms part of a service made for Roman Catholic worship. The maker, Lorenzo Lavy, was a goldsmith and medallist from Turin who trained in Paris. His work, in the latest Parisian style, is typical of silver produced for the court of the Duchy of Savoy.

The Duchy of Savoy was represented in London by the Sardinian embassy in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The embassy chapel, with seven chaplains, was one of the most prestigious in London, and its services were open to the public. The survival of this altar service is a unique reminder of an openly practised form of Catholicism, from a time when the faith was severely restricted in England.

Turin, Italy, about 1760–70; by Lorenzo Lavy (1720–89)
Silver and glass
Engraved with the arms of Charles Emanuel III

Lent by the Church of St Anselm and St Cecilia,
Kingsway [22/11/2005]

Materials

Silver

Categories

Christianity; Metalwork; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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