Early C19th communion silver.

This is a long shot.

Our church records state that in 1820, four silver communion cups "of improper shape and size" were re-made into two communion cups. The two new cups were of a plain design, like a glass tumbler, but in silver, about 6 inches high.

We are a "wee cuppie" church, but we use the two as the common cup if numbers are small or for the elders.

What would be regarded as an "improper shape and size" for a communion cup in early C19th Presbyterian Scotland?

I'm asking because I've found a record that the church was given two silver chalices in the early C17th, and I'm wondering if the C17th chalices were two of the four communion cups which were converted into our two current cups.

Comments

  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    "Of improper shape" might just mean that they had got bashed about a bit. But it might not!
  • I am assuming the four were old and decrepit by 1820. But how old? I'd also assumed the previous four were a set of four, rather than two of one type and another two, but who knows?

    All I know for sure is that we had two silver chalices in the early/mid C17th and we don't have them now!
  • I would hazard a guess that a traditional chalice may be deemed an improper size and shape for a communion cup in a Presbyterian church.
  • ... or simply that the size was "improper" for the number of people who usually communed (e.g. too big or too small).
  • I may be misremembering but I thought that wee cuppies are a relatively late innovation in Scottish Presbyterianism, around the turn of the last century. If so the wee cuppies would not have been a factor at the time.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 19
    Either way (and looking at from a purely antiquarian POV), it seems that the loss of/remaking of the original chalices was...er.....a loss.

    IYSWIM.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I would hazard a guess that a traditional chalice may be deemed an improper size and shape for a communion cup in a Presbyterian church.
    That seems possible. I can’t say for Scotland, but in the US, chalices in Presbyterian churches were usually a simpler style of goblet compared to many Roman- or Anglican-style chalices. (And @North East Quine says the new cups are tumbler style, which is even less like a “traditional” chalice than a goblet.) That didn’t seem to change significantly until the mid-20th Century or so, and older-style chalices will still be found in many churches, particularly older ones.

    But this:
    Our church records state that in 1820, four silver communion cups "of improper shape and size" were re-made into two communion cups. The two new cups were of a plain design, like a glass tumbler, but in silver, about 6 inches high.
    makes me wonder if the problem was that the original four cups were too small. That four cups of “improper shape and size” were remade into two cups that were still only around 6” tall suggests to me that the original four cups might have been too small to really function well as common cups.

    The original wee cuppies, maybe? :wink:
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Well I was actually looking for a glass communion beaker I saw linked to Facebook when I came across these instead.
  • Those sold for $47,500??? Did the engraving make them more valuable? Provenance?
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    I have no idea.
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