Chalice thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries

Chalice

1849-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This chalice was never used in a church. It was acquired from the Great Exhibition of 1851, and as such, represents what was felt to be best in British design and workmanship in the mid 19th century. It cost £30, and was described as being 'remarkable for the beauty of the forms and the delicacy of the ornamented portions'. Hardman and Pugin's approach to design was pragmatic. Pugin's designs were often not made of silver, but of inexpensive substitutes. Privately, he also allowed the use of industrial methods of production. This chalice is therefore a spirited exhibition piece rather than representative of Pugin's actual commercial practice.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Silver, parcel gilt set with amethysts and garnets and champleve enamel plaques
Brief description
Chalice, parcel-gilt, enamels and jewells, designed by A.W.N. Pugin, made by John Hardman and Co, Birmingham hallmarks for 1849-50
Physical description
Silver, parcel gilt chalice set with amethysts and garnets and champleve enamel plaques; body screwed together through stem
Dimensions
  • Height: 23.00cm
  • Length: 15.00cm
  • Width: 15.00cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • Under rim of bowl: Maker JH & Co for John Hardman and Co, duty, sterling, anchor for Birmingham, date letter ‘A’ for 1849-50; Underneath base: maker, date letter.
  • Inscribed in gilt band around bowl: CALICEM SALUTARIS ACCUNAM ET NOMEN DOMINI INVORABO ("I will take the chalice of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord")
  • White shield with blue cross applied separately to one of the enamel panels on base of chalice
Gallery label
Chalice Unlike many other chalices, this one was never used in a church. Instead, the Museum acquired it from the Great Exhibition of 1851 as an example of what was believed to be best in British design and workmanship in the mid 19th century. It cost £30 and was described as being 'remarkable for the beauty of the forms and the delicacy of the ornamented portions'. The designer was A.W.N. Pugin, the influential architect who promoted the Gothic as the true Christian style. The manufacturer was John Hardman & Co., the Birmingham ecclesiastical suppliers with whom Pugin was closely associated. They shared a pragmatic approach to design. Pugin's designs were often not made of silver, but of inexpensive substitutes, and he accepted industrial methods of production. This chalice is therefore a spirited exhibition piece rather than a representative of Pugin's actual commercial practice. The bowl of the chalice is inscribed in Latin: 'I take the chalice of salvation and will call on the name of the Lord'. Birmingham, England, 1849-50; designed by A.W.N. Pugin (1812-52), made by John Hardman & Co. Silver, partly gilded, with champlevé enamel and amethysts Museum no. 1328-1851(22/11/2005)
Object history
Acquired from the Great Exhibition of 1851
Inscribed in gilt band around bowl: CALICEM SALUTARIS ACCIPIAM ET NOMEN DOMINI INVOCABO ("I will take the chalice of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord"). This chalice was never used in a church. It was acquired from the Great Exhibition of 1851, and as such, represents what was felt to be best in British design and workmanship in the mid-19th century. It cost £30, and was described as being "remarkable for the beauty of the forms and the delicacy of the ornamented portions". Hardman and Pugin's approach to design was pragmatic. Pugin's designs were often not made of silver, but of inexpensive substitutes. Privately, he also allowed the use of industrial methods of production. This chalice is therefore a spirited exhibition piece rather than representative of Pugin's actual commercial practice.
Historical context
Furnishing the Church
A new business of church furnishing arose from the great surge in church building and restoration. Between 1840 and 1900, over 100 churches were built each year. Older buildings were restored or expanded. Every denomination from Anglican and Roman Catholic to Nonconformist was reacting to the widespread religious revival and the needs of an expanding population. Fitting out such large numbers of churches required specialist firms who could supply the complete range of furnishings. Clergy no longer commissioned individual tailors, furniture makers and silversmiths. Instead, stained glass windows, cl[Erical vestments and silver altar plate could all be ordered from church furnishers like Jones & Willis, Cox & Sons and John Hardman. These specialists would supply the correct equipment, as prescribed by the church reformers. They offered a choice of material, quality and prices to suit the resources of wealthy and poorer parishes. J. Whippell & Co. About 1902 Kind permission of J. Whippell & Co., Exeter

Leading Taste
The building, restoration and furnishing of churches were important outlets for Victorian creative talent. For some architects it was the mainstay of their business. The taste for the Gothic style, which became dominant though not universal,was led by architects like A.W.N. Pugin. Many Anglican architects were affiliated to reforming societies and closely concerned with design policy. Some were employed by commercial firms such as Cox & Sons to give their products a veneer of authenticity. In England so many medieval church fittings had been destroyed in the Reformation that architects were obliged to invent new forms. William Butterfield, the first official designer of the Cambridge Camden Society, modelled flagons on smaller medieval cruet shapes.
Summary
This chalice was never used in a church. It was acquired from the Great Exhibition of 1851, and as such, represents what was felt to be best in British design and workmanship in the mid 19th century. It cost £30, and was described as being 'remarkable for the beauty of the forms and the delicacy of the ornamented portions'. Hardman and Pugin's approach to design was pragmatic. Pugin's designs were often not made of silver, but of inexpensive substitutes. Privately, he also allowed the use of industrial methods of production. This chalice is therefore a spirited exhibition piece rather than representative of Pugin's actual commercial practice.
Bibliographic reference
Connoisseur, CLXV, 1967, p.29, illus. Paul Atterbury ( editor ) A.W.N. Pugin, Master of the Gothic Revival, Yale University Press, 1995, p. 389, cat. no. 142
Collection
Accession number
1328-1851

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Record createdMarch 3, 2004
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