Elizabeth I Antique Silver Chalice
Date: Circa 1574
Maker: Lawrence Stratford
Originating from the English provincial town of Dorchester in Dorset, this fine early English chalice dates to the reign of...Buy NowEnquire
Originating from the English provincial town of Dorchester in Dorset, this fine early English chalice dates to the reign of Elizabeth I. It has the standard design for Elizabethan communion cups with straight tapering sides and a slightly flared top; with wire ornament applied to the stem and hammered egg and dart frieze to the foot. The beautifully hatched decorative bands below the top edge of the cup are typical for the period, they are well executed and with good definition. Most likely this cup has been made from pre-reformation silver and it has the lovely hand beaten finish you’d expect at this date. The removable cover (paten) bears the date of 1574. Superb antique colour.
Contains 250 ml.
Chalice weight 231 grams, 7.4 troy oz. Height 20.2cm, diameter of top 9.9cm.
Cover weight 55 grams, 1.7 troy oz. Height 2.4cm, diameter 9cm.
Maker’s mark only for Lawrence Stratford.
Mark. Stamped below the rim, and on the paten, with maker’s mark “LS within a circle filled with pellets” listed for Lawrence Stratford in Jackson’s Gold & Silver Marks page 273, a known spoon and communion cup maker. The paten bears the date “1574”.
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 good condition with signs of use over the past 450 years. The hand engraving is crisp. The cup has been water tested and does not leak. There are a few small restorations to the cup rim and some metal stress marks visible. The paten has had quite a hard life and there is a noticeable fault line and signs of earlier repairs. Both the cup and paten have a magnificent antique patination.
Maker: Lawrence Stratford
Lawrence Stratford, Dorchester silversmith, a well known spoonmaker. Lawrence’s father John was a prosperous Dorchester goldsmith who served as bailiff in 1552 and in 1558/9 he was assessed at the very substantial figure of £9 in goods. Lawrence also served as bailiff in 1583 and 1593. Lawrence died circa 1595. During the 1570s Lawrence Stratford participated in the campaign to provide replacement Communion Cups. His mark “monogram LS within a ring of small pellets, 6 pointed mullet to one side, small saltire cross to the other” has been found on chalices in more than 30 parish churches in Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset (dated from 1573-1578).
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