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Chalice and paten

Chalice and paten

  • Place of origin:

    Iceland (possibly, made)
    England (possibly, made)
    Norway (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1200 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gilded silver

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Chalices were usually made of the most precious materials, since they held the consecrated wine that was believed to be the blood of Christ. On this chalice, the Latin inscription around the bowl emphasizes this function. This silver chalice was made in the early 13th century, a time when Iceland had cultural, trade and diplomatic links with northern Europe, especially with Norway and England. In this period Icelandic culture flourished, notably through the work of writers like Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241), the great scholar, poet and historian. The decoration and style of this chalice, particularly the foliate decoration of the knop, reflects a knowledge of Romanesque sculptural forms.

Place of Origin

Iceland (possibly, made)
England (possibly, made)
Norway (possibly, made)


ca. 1200 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gilded silver

Object history note

Purchased together for £70 from S. Verdier, Copenhagen, Denmark. RP number 81617/1902

Extract from letter received from MR Verdier dated 28th January, 1902 and registers under No. 3269-1902: "One very fine and rare Icelandic Chalice from the Middle ages, I have got it direct from Iceland it has belong to Grundt church by Arefiord. On the Chalice stand, SUMMITVR HINC NVNDA DIVINI SANGVINIS VNDA"

British Library Sacred Exhibition RF.2006/484

Historical context note

The chalice and paten are said to have come from Grund, a farm in northern Iceland, only a few miles from the church of Holar, formerly the seat of the Cathedral for that region.The church still owns two fine and elaborate 13th century silver chalices, and it is possible that this chalice also once belonged to the cathedral.

Descriptive line

Chalice and Paten, possibly Iceland,Norway or England, ca.1200

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

Campbell, Marian, 'The medieval chalices of Iceland and Norway', in Lilja Arnadottir and Ketil Kiran ed., Church and art: the medieval church in Norway and Iceland , Reykjavik 1997, pp. 102-4, pl. 1

Labels and date

Silver parcel-gilt
Round the lip is the inscription:- SVMMITVR (sumitur) HINC NVNDA (munda) DIVINI SANGVINIS VNDA.
Icelandic (?); 13th century
(The paten of later date)
From Grundt Church, Iceland []

Production Note

Also possible that the object was made in England or Norway and brought to Iceland






Religion; Christianity; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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