Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Probably Otto Meier (active 1604–21)
1608, with later restorations
German, Westphalia (probably Lichtenau)
Gold, enamel, jewels
Overall: 9 × 6 in. (22.9 × 15.2 cm)
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521
Because of their extraordinary monetary worth, few gold pieces of this size survived the melting pot. Here, radiant angels are enameled in the round (en ronde bosse), a technique developed in the fourteenth century that involves painting molten glass colors over a sculpted gold core. Made for the dean of Speyer Cathedral to use in celebrating Mass, the vessel is set with gemstones, believed to embody the glorious detailing of God’s divine order. Part of the original chalice is lost; in an indication of the object’s enduring appeal, its damaged bowl was carefully replaced with a new one in the nineteenth century.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Inscription: On a disk, fitted to underside of the foot: ADOLPHUS WOLFF DICTUS METTERNICH DECANUS SPIRENSIS ANNO 1608 [a copy of the inscription on the original foot of the chalice]
reputedly Adolphus Wolff-Metternich , Speyer Cathedral ; Karl Friedrich I, Grand Duke of Baden (until 1811) ; Church of St. Stephan, Karlsruhe ; Baron Karl Mayer von Rothschild ; Bertha von Rothschild, Princess de Wagram ; [ Jacques Seligmann , Paris, until 1911; sold to Morgan ] ; J. Pierpont Morgan (1911–17; to MMA)
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