Elizabeth I Antique Silver Chalice


Stock: 10240

Date: 1573

Maker: Andrew Kemp

Country: England

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

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A rare early English chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. This beautiful cup has the standard design for Elizabethan communion cups with straight tapering sides and slightly flared top. It’s most likely to have been made from pre-reformation silver and has the lovely hand beaten finish you’d expect at this date. The single hatched band of arabesque decoration is well executed and the definition is very good. There is applied wire ornament to the stem and foot. Traces of gilding to the bowl. It would originally have had a cover (paten).

Contains 400 ml.
Weight of chalice 256 grams, 8.2 troy ounces.
Height 20.2cm, diameter of top 9.9cm.
London 1573.
Maker Andrew Kemp
Sterling silver.
16th century.

Mark. Stamped below the rim with a full set of English silver hallmarks, foot unmarked. Maker’s mark listed for Andrew Kemp in Jackson’s Gold & Silver Marks page 93, a known communion cup maker. There are no precise records of silver makers marks prior to 1681 as all records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in that year.

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 antique cup is in very good condition with no obvious signs of restoration. This cup shows moderate signs of wear consistent with use over several centuries.

Maker Information

Maker: Andrew Kemp

Andrew Kemp, London silversmith, working during the reign of Elizabeth I. Circa 1570. Specialised mainly in silver communion cups.

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