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Art & Design

Unknown artist, Dutch, Communion Beaker, ca. 1660, Anonymous gift in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Franklin W. Robinson

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Communion Beaker

Unknown artist, Dutch, Holland; Netherlands; Groningen
ca. 1660
Communion Beaker
Height: 14 cm (5 1/2 inches)
Anonymous gift in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Franklin W. Robinson 1992.051

The tactile spiked collar, sensitive flared form, and elegant strapwork make this beaker a vivid embodiment of Dutch silver at its best. Large beakers of this form were used as Communion cups in the Protestant churches of Holland. The jagged silver around this cup’s base recalls the crown of thorns placed upon Christ’s head at the Crucifixion. The sides are engraved with personifications of three Christian virtues—-Fortitude carrying a pillar, Hope with an anchor by her side, and Justice with a sword in one hand and scales in the other. This Communion beaker carries the stamp associated with the city of Groningen in the Netherlands, and it is similar to cups used in the Dutch colonies of North America.

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