Altar Cruet

Central European

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

Altar cruets were used to mix water with wine for Holy Communion and were thus usually made in pairs. Although frequently crafted in silver throughout the Middle Ages, cruets, because they held the water and wine before consecration, were not required to be made of precious metals. For the same reason, the shape and decoration of the cruet were less standardized than those of the chalice and paten. This mid-fourteenth-century example is notable for its strong profile and restrained decoration. The form is characteristic of the silver production of a broad area of central Europe, making it difficult to determine a precise place of manufacture.

Altar Cruet, Silver and silver gilt, Central European

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.