Chalice, about 1550
Italian, 16th century
Gilded silver and enamel
Bequest from the Preston Pope Satterwhite Collection 1949.30.38

How much will it cost? $2,500


This is a gilded silver chalice, with beautiful enameled inlays around the base and stem. Unfortunately, the object also suffers from abrasion, scratches, active corrosion, cracking, losses and loose parts—the stem is actually mobile, rending this object extremely fragile. A thorough surface cleaning and stabilization of the enamel inlays, followed by a careful polishing will significantly improve the aesthetic quality of this lovely chalice.

How Was This Used?
This vessel was made expressly for the purpose of serving wine during the Christian practice known as the Eucharist or Communion. Recorded in Bible passages in the New Testament, the rite is connected to Christ’s Last Supper, during which Christ spoke of wine and bread as representing his blood and body. As is common, the chalice’s decoration refers to its religious function. It combines large cherub heads with scenes from the life of Christ.