Elizabeth I Antique Silver Chalice


Stock: 10179

Date: 1568

Maker: William Dyxson

Country: England

A rare early English silver chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. This cup follows the standard design for...

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A rare early English silver chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. This cup follows the standard design for Elizabethan communion cups and is most likely to have been made from pre-reformation silver. Of very plain form, the straight tapering sided bowl has a circular band below the rim, and simple reeded wire ornamentation has been applied to the stem and foot. This cup would originally have had a cover (paten).

Weight 139 grams, 4.4 troy ounces.
Height 14cm. Diameter – top 8.1cm, foot 6.8cm.
London 1568.
Maker William Dyxson.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped below the rim with a full set of English silver hallmarks. The “fleur de lys” maker’s mark for William Dyxson was entered in 1561 (see photo of Jacksons page 98). It’s rare for a maker’s mark of this period to have a name associated with it. Normally all that remains on the record is the initials. The leopards head mark is unclear.

The date letter “k with pellet below” is the 2nd date letter for the year cycle 1567-8, an interesting rarity. This was caused by the replacement of the assay master in January 1568 due to a conflict of interest (he continued to run his own goldsmiths business which was not allowed). So the precise year for this cup is 1568.

Literature: Most parish churches in existence at this date would have had a chalice very similar to this. The church authorities launched a programme from about 1560 to replace the ‘old massing chalices’ with ‘decent’ communion cups of prescribed design, such as this. The programme for refashioning old chalices was staggered from diocese to diocese over a period of about 15 years.


The cup is in very good condition with moderate signs of wear commensurate with age.

Maker Information

Maker: William Dyxson

The "fleur de lys" makers mark for William Dyxson was entered in 1561 (Jacksons "Gold & Silver Marks" page 98).

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