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  • Chalice
    Skidmore, Francis Alexander the younger, born 1817 - died 1896
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Coventry (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Skidmore, Francis Alexander the younger, born 1817 - died 1896 (designer)
    Skidmore's Art Manufactures Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gilt and enamel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 4

Object Type
The chalice, designed by Francis A. Skidmore, was adapted from medieval models. The hexagonal base, decorated with six enamelled panels of angels bearing symbols of the Passion, resembles a 15th-century salt commissioned by Bishop Fox in the collection of Corpus Christi College. The stem and bowl are derived from a chalice at Trinity College, Oxford.

Francis A. Skidmore, the designer of the chalice, was the son of a Coventry watchmaker, jeweller and silversmith. He was apprenticed to his father and also studied historic metalwork. Together they founded the firm, Francis Skidmore & Son in 1845. He became a member of the Oxford Architectural Society and the Ecclesiological Society. By the early 1850s the firm was making silver and other metalwork for outside designers like Sir George Gilbert Scott. An important manufacturer in the Gothic revivalist style, Skidmore's were also responsible for restoration work on a number of cathedrals.

Materials & Making
The chalice was gilded using an electric current. This new technology of electrogilding, as well as that of electroplating and electrotyping, had been promoted by the Birmingham manufacturers Elkington & Co. By 1851 all these techniques were widely used in the trade. Electrogilding was an important advance in technology as the process was less harmful to health than the old gilding process using mercury.

Physical description

Chalice. Gilt metal with hexagonal base decorated with enamel panels representing angels bearing the instruments of the passion.

Place of Origin

Coventry (probably, made)


ca. 1851 (made)


Skidmore, Francis Alexander the younger, born 1817 - died 1896 (designer)
Skidmore's Art Manufactures Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver gilt and enamel

Marks and inscriptions

The Latin inscription translates: 'take all of you and drink'


Height: 20.4 cm, Width: 13.8 cm maximum, base, Diameter: 12.6 cm bowl

Object history note

Designed by Francis A. Skidmore the younger (born about 1816, died in 1896), and made by Skidmore and Son, Coventry, West Midlands

Descriptive line

Chalice, silver-gilt & enamel, by Skidmore & Sons for the 1851 Great Exhibition, Britain, ca.1851.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Skidmore & Son was a major manufacturer of objects in the Gothic Revival style. Owen Jones, an architect and designer involved in the interior decoration and arrangement of the displays of the Great Exhibition, thought this chalice 'remarkable for the beauty of forms and the delicacy of the ornamental portions'. [25/03/2003]


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Metalwork Collection

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