Silver gilt chalice
Irish silver gilt chalice dating from c.1480 – £38,000 at Duke’s.

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It came for sale at Duke’s in Dorchester on July 1 by descent from Wilson Rae-Scott, a financier from Chiswick in west London who collected silver and works of art in the years before the Second World War.

That Henry VIII’s religious reforms in Ireland did not always go much further than The Pale, the area immediately surrounding Dublin, may account for the survival of much Irish pre- Reformation plate.

Dr Edith Andrees of the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), who helped in the cataloguing of the piece along with former Victoria and Albert Museum curator Philippa Glanville, suggested the chalice may been made in or around Cork.

Comparable examples from the same period include the the Matheus Macraith chalice in Clonfert, Galway, and the De Burgo-O’Malley chalice in the NMI. These both have a spreading octagonal foot.

The Rae-Scott cup has a less typical spreading circular foot with rivet holes indicating a now lost mount that would have depicted an image, inscription or corpus. Against a guide of £5000- 10,000, it took £38,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).

The anonymous buyer was said to be delighted to have saved the historic relic for Ireland.