Elizabeth I Silver Chalice


Stock: 9750

Date: 1571

Maker: Andrew Kemp

Country: England

A rare early English chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. A very early date and in very good...

More Below



A rare early English chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. A very early date and in very good condition. This cup follows the standard design for Elizabethan communion cups and is most likely to have been made from pre-reformation silver. It has straight tapering sides and would originally have had a cover (paten). Charmingly hand beaten finish as you’d expect at this date. Very plain design. The foot wire has stamped ornament of tongue and dart, typical of the period, and further wire ornament is applied to the stem.

Contains 320 ml.
Weight 248 grams, 7.9 troy ounces.
Height 18.5cm. Diameter of top 8.6cm.
Extremely good silver marks for London 1571.
Maker Andrew Kemp (Jackson’s Gold & Silver Marks page 93), known for making communion cups.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped on the rim of the cup with a full set of English silver hallmarks, foot unmarked. Excellent patina.

Literature: Most parish churches in existence at this date would have had a chalice very similar to this. During the Reformation there was a return to a simpler, more direct form of worship. Protestants rejected the Roman Catholic belief in ‘transubstantiation’, the transformation of bread and wine during the Mass into the body and blood of Christ, and proposed instead a symbolic service of shared communion. In this, the congregation would regularly take wine as well as bread, whereas before they had been chiefly spectators.
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 large and remote Welsh diocese of St David’s was one of the last to adopt the new form of communion cup.

Signed/Inscribed: *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 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmen’s marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions.

The first surviving record, after the fire at Goldsmiths Hall, is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).


The antique communion cup is in very good condition.

Maker Information

Maker: Andrew Kemp

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

Our Guarantee

Customer satisfaction is our primary concern

All silverware on our website is checked thoroughly prior to offering it for sale and every product listing contains a condition report and details of the silver hallmarks.

All items offered on our website include:

  • Free Shipping Worldwide
  • Tracked and Insured
  • 14 day no quibble money back guarantee
  • We are accredited members of LAPADA and conform to their strict professional standards
  • We dispatch 1-3 days after receiving cleared payments

More detailed information about deliveries, returns and how to pay is available in the Help section at the bottom of this page.

Recently Viewed Products

    Keep up to date with our Latest Items and News on Early Silver