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  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
    John Hardman & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel gilt, with champlevé enamels and garnets

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 8

Object Type
A chalice is a cup used to contain wine at the most important act of worship of the Christian Church, the Holy Communion or Mass. This chalice was designed by the architect A.W.N. Pugin (1812-1852), using 15th-century Italian church plate as his model. On his frequent visits to the Continent he studied and recorded objects in Museums and cathedral treasuries. He re-interpreted the forms and details of these historic objects to create a distinct 19th-century expression of the earlier designs.

The architect, A.W.N. Pugin, and the manufacturer, John Hardman shared a commitment to the revival of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. In 1838, they founded a business to provide church furnishings describing themselves as the first 'Medieval Metalworkers'. As designer, Pugin promoted the Gothic as the only appropriate Christian style. However, this chalice, which was influenced by 15th-century Italian models in its shape and decorative detailing, demonstrates that his sources of design were not exclusively Medieval.

Historical Associations
This chalice was first shown as part of the large display of altar plate and church fittings in the Great Exhibition's Medieval Court in 1851. Richly embellished with enamels and hardstones it is one of the finest pieces made during the collaboration between its designer A.W.N. Pugin and the manufacturer John Hardman. The chalice was designed as an exhibition piece to advertise the skill of designer and maker and was bought by the Museum from the Exhibition for the high cost of £45.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)


1851 (made)


A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
John Hardman & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel gilt, with champlevé enamels and garnets

Marks and inscriptions

The translated inscription reads 'I will take this chalice of salvation and will call upon the name of the Lord'


Height: 26 cm, Diameter: 18.5 cm base, Diameter: 12.8 cm cup

Object history note

Designed by A.W.N. Pugin (born in London, 1812, died in Ramsgate, Kent, 1852); made by Hardman & Co. Birmingham

Descriptive line

Chalice shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, designed by A.W.N. Pugin and made by Hardman & Co., Birmingham, 1851

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

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Large international exhibitions gave ecclesiastical designers and manufacturers an opportunity to show off their products and display their skills to potential patrons. By the 1890s special ecclesiastical art exhibitions were held annually. [27/03/2003]


Metalwork; Religion; Ceremonial objects; Christianity


Metalwork Collection

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