Thursday 7 December 2023

Lot 9

LOTS 9-18: PROPERTY OF THE TAPPENDEN CHARITABLE TRUST  An Elizabeth I silver communion cup and...

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Lot 9

An Elizabeth I silver communion cup and...

Price Realised: £6,298

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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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

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 at St Vedast. 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.

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