Rare Medieval Silver Chalice Stem / Dissolution Debris
This is a wonderful and very rare silver object, dating to the 13th - 14th century. This piece appears to be the central stem from an ecclesiastic silver chalice, sadly in a destroyed state (ready for recycling). It was recovered from a sandy riverbed, along with 7 silver ingots of around 1kg each, a large crucible and a hoard of silver pennies of Edward I & Edward II and Alexander III. The chalice appears to have been purposefully reduced to be melted down along with the coinage. It has just escaped the crucible before something happened to the silversmith (either a plague, war or robbery) consigning the treasure into a river - either for later retrieval or as a happy accident of fate. Either way, we are left with this extremely rare portion of a medieval silver chalice, something one seldom finds from this date - even in museums!
This type of object was destroyed on mass during the Dissolution of the Monasteries when most plate from churches and monastic building were reduced to bullion. This also happened with the silver plate during the English Civil War. This chalice appears to be much earlier if the last coinage indicative of deposition we are looking at early 14th century - giving this chalice a date of the 13th century. Such objects come with more questions than answers, further research will be needed.
DATE: c. 1250 - 1350 A.D.
SIZE: 128mm (tall) x 50mm (widest)
WEIGHT: 67.2 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection