• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7597

    Important Silver

    10 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 250

    A JAMES I SILVER-GILT RECUSANT CHALICE

    APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1610

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A JAMES I SILVER-GILT RECUSANT CHALICE
    APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1610
    The tapering bowl applied at the lower body with waved straps, on a hexafoil foot with facetted stem with openwork knop, the foot engraved with an inscription
    6¾ in. (17 cm) high
    8 oz. (248 gr.)
    The inscription reads 'of youre Charity Remember Richard Houthersall and Mary his wyffe'


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    From around 1550 it was a punishable offence in England to attend any church service other then those of the Church of England. Despite this, recusant chapels (from the Latin recusare: to refuse) were maintained at many Catholic manor houses, employing objects such as this chalice. As these objects were not produced to be sold they were rarely sent to Goldsmiths' Hall to be hallmarked, instead being either left unmarked, or, as with this example, marked with maker's mark only.

    A chalice by William Rainbow, hallmarked for 1633 is illustrated in J. J. Buckley, Some Irish Altar Plate, page 58-59, number 1633H, plate XX, fig. 2. Unmarked examples of circa 1640 and circa 1650 and each with a cupid decorated knop are respectively illustrated in Michael Clayton, The Collectors Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, second edition, Suffolk, 1985, page 81, fig. 115 and Vanessa Brett, The Sotheby's Directory of Silver, 1600-1940, London, 1986. page 125, number 416.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.