National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Chalice of the Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis French 12th Century (cup Alexandrian 2nd/1st Century B.C.)
French 12th Century (artist)
Chalice of the Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, 2nd/1st century B.C. (cup); 1137-1140 (mounting)
sardonyx cup with heavily gilded silver mounting, adorned with filigrees set with stones, pearls, glass insets, and opaque white glass pearls
overall (height): 18.4 cm (7 1/4 in.) overall (diam. at base): 11.7 cm (4 5/8 in.) overall (diam. at top): 12.4 cm (4 7/8 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.277
Not on View
From the Tour: Medieval Metalwork and Enamels
Object 1 of 8

Conservation Notes

The domed foot of the sardonyx cup is no longer visible in the modern restoration. It is hidden by the circlet studded with pearls above the knob. Between 1633 and 1706 a lower curl and a loop were added to the curling upper parts of the handles. The faceted stones of the knob are late medieval replacements. Only a few of the original stones meticulously itemized in the 1634 inventory remain today. The modern replacements are mainly glass insets, red or purple, and a number of pearls are imitations in white glass. The lower part of the foot is different from what it was until the French Revolution. It has been straightened out into a narrower and more conical shape. The flat bottom edge has been remade, with the addition of a beaded string and a cable. All the stones and the settings have been changed.

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