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Lot 400


the spreading circular foot with cylindrical engraved stem rising towards a knop enriched with leafy motifs, above the chequered engraved stem supporting a circular bowl, overall height 160mm.; bowl diameter 103mm.; foot diameter 122mm.; Weight: 285.55grams.

Provenance: Wilson Rae-Scott Esq., thence by descent.

Condition Report: click here
Estimate: £5,000 - £10,000
Hammer price: £38,000
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

This chalice is an extremely rare survival. It is similar to other pre-Reformation chalices including one in Clonfert Cathedral, Galway, known as the ‘Matheus Macraith’ chalice (P. Egan, ‘Clonfert Museum and its Collections’, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 27, (1956/1957) pp.33-76, especially pp.37, 41-43). Other examples include two in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin: the ‘De Burgo-O’Malley Chalice’ and the ‘Kirwan Chalice’ – the latter recently purchased by the National Museum of Ireland, (bought prior to auction in 2019 with a pre-sale estimate €20,000- €30,000).

The chalice is a rare survival from before the Protestant Reformation (1541-1598). That Henry VIII’s religious reforms in Ireland in some cases did not go much further than The Pale, the area immediately surrounding Dublin, may account for the survival of much pre-Reformation plate.

Dr Edith Andrees of the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin has suggested the chalice may been made in or around Cork, noted that the circular spreading foot is unusual. The rivet holes to the foot may indicate a lost mount of an image, inscription or corpus. 

Wilson Rae-Scott was a financier from Chiswick, London, and a collected silver and works of art in the years before the Second World War.

We are grateful to Philippa Glanville OBE, FSA, former Chief Curator of Metalwork, Silver and Jewellery Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and Dr Edith Andrees of the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin for kindly assisting with the cataloguing of this lot

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The surface is tarnished overall. There are very minor dents in places (to the foot and bowl) consistent with age. The edges of the foot are splayed upwards overall and there are two cracks at 12 o clock and 5 o clock to each other from the outer edge towards the rising dome, one circa 1cm, one circa 0.5cm.

There are four small rivet holes to the foot ware a corpus was once possibly attached. The foot and stem is slightly loose at its join.

There are small later rivets to the shaft above the knop, the rim is slightly bent in places. Overall an extremely rare object in lovely stable overall condition. 

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