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Pair of altar cruets

Silver-gilt

Origin: Probably Spain

Date: Mid-18th century

13.7 cm and 13.9 cm height; 365 g and 376 g weight

Marks/Maker: Possibly Madrid, assay maker's mark of Felix Leonardo Nieva

Provenance: Sir Francis Watson; bequeathed to Cheng Huan

Intended gift of Cheng Huan; LI 1084.1

T. Schroder (2009), no. 428

Altar cruets contained the water and wine before they were mixed and consecrated during Mass. They survive from the Middle Ages and are an essential component of the Roman Catholic rite. They are often designed, as in this case, as miniature secular ewers.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

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