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Chalice

  • Place of origin:

    Palencia (made)

  • Date:

    1756-1757 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Espetillo, Andrés Francisco (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    silver, gold, embossing, matting, chasing

  • Credit Line:

    Dr W.L. Hildburgh Bequest

  • Museum number:

    M.195-1956

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 3, case CA1

The chalice was originally part of a set of vessels for the celebration of Mass commissioned in the mid-eighteenth-century by the Bishop of Palencia, Andrés de Bustamente (in office 1750-64) for his personal use. His arms are embossed on the chalice calyx. The design of the chalice reflects eighteenth-century fashions for the sinuous, asymmetric designs characteristic of the style known as rococo.

Physical description

Silver-gilt (not gilded on underside of foot), embossed and matted. Four oval silver-gilt plaques with low-relief images of saints embossed on them are applied around the foot; these plaques alternate with four embossed winged cherub heads. The saints on the plaque are: St Antoninus, St Andrew, St Thomas Aquinas and ?St Peter. There are cherub heads on the knop, and the embossed base of the calyx includes four irregular-shaped cartouches embossed with the arms of Andrés de Bustamente, Bishop of Palencia, and images associated with the ritual function of the vessel: grapes, wheatsheaves and the pelican in her piety.

Place of Origin

Palencia (made)

Date

1756-1757 (made)

Artist/maker

Espetillo, Andrés Francisco (made)

Materials and Techniques

silver, gold, embossing, matting, chasing

Marks and inscriptions

Marked on outer rim of foot, in a rectangular punch, the letters ESP over TILLO.
Maker's mark of 'Espetillo': see Fernández: 1992, p. 142 and plate 7, and Gutiérrez Baños: 1999, p. 235 and pl. 4 (p. 234).

Arms of Andrés de Bustamente, Bishop of Palencia (Spain), heart-shaped estucheon divided per pale; 1st or, thirtin hurts; 2nd gules, bend or held by two dragon's heads sinople; chief, azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, episcopal cross, cap and strings (Gutiérrez Baños: 1999, p. 233, n. 2).

Dimensions

Height: 31 cm, Diameter: 9.4 cm diameter of bowl, Diameter: 18 cm maximum diameter of foot, Weight: 1031.6 g

Object history note

The chalice was part of a set of vessels for the celebration of Mass commissioned in the mid-eighteenth-century by the Bishop of Palencia, Andrés de Bustamente (d. 1764), for his personal use. His arms are embossed on the chalice calyx, and plaques depicting saints with associations particular to him and to his diocese are applied to the foot (Gutiérrez Baños: 1999, p. 233). The altar cruet set which accompanied this chalice survives today in Palencia Cathedral, but the altar bell has disappeared. The chalice was bought by the American collector Walter Leo Hildburgh in San Sebastián in 1923.

The goldsmith, Andrés Francisco Espetillo, was born in Madrid. His father is described in documents as a master-maker of tortoiseshell boxes who also worked as a silversmith. The family moved to Valladolid while Andrés Francisco was still a child. There he trained as a goldsmith, and was one of the main figures responsible for introducing fashionable rococo styles to the nearby provincial town of Palencia. Andrés Francisco eventually settled in Palencia in 1754, and carried out important commissions for the Cathedral authorities. He died in 1779.

The design of the chalice reflects eighteenth-century fashions for the sinuous, asymmetric designs characteristic of the style known as rococo. However, the principal interest of this piece lies in the fact that both the goldsmith and his patron are known, and that the context in which the chalice was used can be traced in documents in the archive of Palencia Cathedral.

Historical context note

A chalice holds the consecrated wine (ie. wine blessed by a priest) used in the celebration of the Catholic Mass. The Mass is a ritual which brings Catholics together in solemn remembrance of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross to redeem the sins of Mankind. Each priest in a church or cathedral usually has their own, personal, chalice from which they drink during Mass at the miraculous moment when the wine becomes the blood of Christ.

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt, Spain (Palencia), 1756-57, maker's mark of Andrés Francisco Espetillo.

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

Fernández, A., R. Munoa and J. Rabasco. Marcas de la plata española y virreinal. Madrid: Antiqvaria, 1992. ISBN 8486508282
Gutiérrez Baños, Fernando. The chalice of Bishop Bustamente. The Silver Society Journal. Autumn 1999, vol. 11, pp. 233-235

Labels and date

4. Chalice
Spanish; about 1670
Silver-gilt
Maker's mark ESPTILLO, unidentified

Embossed with a coat of arms under a cardinal's hat, apperently a variant on the arms of Davila. SS. Andrew and Peter are embossed on the foot.

Bequeathed by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F.S.A.
M.195-1956 [1980-1990]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Gilding; Embossing; Matting

Subjects depicted

Wheat; Coats of arms; Grapes; Pelican

Categories

Christianity; Metalwork; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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