Thursday 7 December 2023

Lot 9

An Elizabeth I silver communion cup and paten Maker's mark: C or O enclosing W or M, possibly...

View More

Lot 9

An Elizabeth I silver communion cup and paten
Maker's mark: C or O enclosing W or M, possibly...

Starting Bid: £4,200

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

Additional fees apply 31.2%. Inc.VAT/sales tax - Bid Calculator

Please note that submitting this bid is legally binding.

Share this lot

Let your friends and family know about this lot

Lot 9



An Elizabeth I silver communion cup and paten

Maker's mark: C or O enclosing W or M, possibly William Cawdell 

London, 1587

The tapering cup raised on a stepped pedestal foot to a knopped stem, the cup engraved with a band of linear dashes to spaced figure-of-eight motifs, the shallow domed paten engraved with the initials WB over D*I over WT to flat knop handle, approx. 18.2cm high, approx. weight  7.4ozt 

Provenance: Property of the Tappenden Charitable Trust

The communion cup with paten shows some wear commensurate with age but it remains a lovely example of its kind. Some scratching, nicking and pitting noted. Some small dings and bruising in places. Some evidence of repairs, particularly around the base of the cup (at top of stem) and the foot. Some small patches noted around rim. Some buckling/splitting to the foot (but only visible from upper side). Some small dings and nicks to stem and foot. A small hole noted in the punched band decoration between base of cup and top of stem. Hallmarks a little rubbed but generally clear (maker’s mark slightly less clear). Lion passant stamped to underside of foot. Paten fits well. Small ding to waisted handle. Apparent alteration to engraved initials (from B to P). Cup is steady on foot. Further images can be downloaded via this link:   

Please login to request a condition report or ask more questions.

If this example is by William Cawdell (Free 1583), it is an interesting and unusual example of his work. Cawdell was a specialist spoonmaker and probably the major trade spoon supplier of his day. Records indicate that he had close ties to his home parish church of St Vedast in Foster Lane, London, and that he was appointed Churchwarden of St Vedast from 1605 to 1608. This communion cup is hallmarked for 1587, the same year in which Cawdell married Elizabeth Cottrell. Cawdell retained his close ties with St Vedast for life, and in his will, dated 18th June 1625, he expressed a wish to be buried in his parish church “neare to the seate where I usually use to sit”.

Further note: After Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome and established himself as the Head of a new Church of England in 1534, liturgical silver developed new forms to signal the move away from Roman Catholic traditions. The Reformation (c.1534-1590) saw a return to a simpler, more direct form of worship. The order for communion to be taken by the laity as well as the priest was made in 1548, but it was not until the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) that the Protestant authorities in England instructed that all remaining chalices should be changed into communion cups. A large amount of Medieval church plate was destroyed and some churches were left with no silver at all. From c.1560, the church authorities launched a programme to replace the ‘old massing chalices’ with ‘decent’ communion cups of a prescribed design, similar to this example. The Archbishop of Canterbury led the campaign and it was implemented by the Goldsmiths' Company in conjunction with local goldsmiths. Each region interpreted the newly desired design according to local traditions, but in form the communion cup now resembled a large domestic cup rather than the shallow bowl of the pre-Reformation chalice. This was intended to demonstrate - on a symbolic and practical level - that the consecrated wine was for use by the congregation as well as the priest. Sacred imagery was considered 'superstitious', hence the simple engraved patterns seen on this and other examples. 

For similar examples see:

The Victoria & Albert Museum, Metalwork Collection, Accession no. LOAN:BLETCHINGLEY.1 (

The Victoria & Albert Museum, Metalwork Collection, Accession no. LOAN:MUMBY.1&A (

(Ref: Adapted from information taken from the V&A website) 


Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

Own a similar item?

Receive alerts about similar lots

Continue Browsing

View More Lots View More Lots

LOT 10

A pair of modern parcel gilt silver communion cups with patens David Tappenden London, 2002,...

Estimate: £600 - £800

Starting Bid: £420

LOT 11

An Elizabeth I baluster seal top spoon Nicholas Bartholomew London, 1578 The silver spoon with...

Estimate: £1000 - £1500

Starting Bid: £700

LOT 12

A set of twelve modern seal top spoons  David Tappenden London, 2002 Designed in the style of an...

Estimate: £500 - £800

Starting Bid: £340

LOT 13

A Queen Anne Britannia silver dog-nose tablespoon William Scarlett  London, c.1705 With plain...

Estimate: £100 - £150

Starting Bid: £70

LOT 14

A set of twelve Britannia silver chambersticks David Tappenden London, 2000 Of circular form,...

Estimate: £1800 - £2200

Current Bid: £1,700

LOT 15

A George IV silver tray engraved with the arms of the Worshipful Society of...

Estimate: £1000 - £1500

Starting Bid: £700

LOT 16

A cased George V silver egg cup and spoon  Patterson & Sons Birmingham 1914 & 1915 In fitted...

Estimate: £80 - £120

Current Bid: £30

LOT 17

A silver 'bark effect' paperweight  Gerald Benney London, 1964 The modernist, rectangular ingot...

Estimate: £200 - £400

Starting Bid: £140

LOT 18

A silver 'bark effect' paperweight  Gerald Benney London, 1974 The modernist, rectangular ingot...

Estimate: £300 - £500

Starting Bid: £200

LOT 19

A parcel gilt silver wine goblet  Stuart Devlin London, 1975 The planished body and foot to a...

Estimate: £200 - £300

Starting Bid: £140

LOT 20

A silver and parcel gilt Ely Cathedral Thirteenth Centenary commemorative goblet Aurum (John M...

Estimate: £300 - £500

Starting Bid: £200

LOT 21

A George IV silver snuff box Joseph Willmore Birmingham, 1827 Of rectangular form, the cover...

Estimate: £300 - £500

Current Bid: £200

LOT 22

A Regency four piece silver tea set Solomon Royes  London, 1819 and 1820 Of half-lobed, oval...

Estimate: £1200 - £1800

Starting Bid: £800

LOT 23

A George I silver waiter Edward Cornock London, 1725 Of  shaped square form with flat base and...

Estimate: £200 - £400

Starting Bid: £140

LOT 24

A George II silver waiter Ebenezer Coker & Thomas Hannam London, 1759 Of circular form, with...

Estimate: £200 - £300

Starting Bid: £140

LOT 25

An early George I silver caster Samuel Welder London, 1715 Of baluster form, with moulded band...

Estimate: £300 - £500

Starting Bid: £200

Newsletter Signup

Keyword Alerts