An Elizabethan Communion cup and cover

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An Elizabethan Communion cup and cover

In the early 1570s parish churches throughout England were required to replace their old medieval chalices, used in the Catholic mass, with communion cups for Protestant worship. This was normally achieved by melting down the old chalice and using the silver for the new vessel. The Exeter goldsmiths produced most of the new cups needed by the many hundreds of Devon parishes. This cup was made for the wealthy parish of St Petrock in the High Street, and is bigger and more richly ornamented than most. It was made in 1572 by the prolific Exeter goldsmith John Jones, who was paid £1 15s 5d for providing the cup; in the process he melted down its medieval predecessor.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum

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