Silver Chalice

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue Boston Massachusetts 02115 US

Silver Chalice, Period: Early Byzantine, circa: 6th century A.D. Dimensions: Height (max.): 18 cm. (7 1/16 in.); Width (max. at handles): 26.6 cm (10 1/2 in.); Width (bowl): 16 cm (6 5/16 in.).

The cup has actually ring handles topped by flat plates of lunate kind with trapezoidal forecasts in the line of the handles. An inscribed band in between the manages is flanked by a gilded profiled rim (above) and a gilded profiled band listed below. The body is hemispherical. The high foot includes a concave, then round stem and a cone-shaped assistance with broad, horizontal flange listed below. The niello-inlaid engraving (in Greek uppercase) equates: “Sarah hoped and made [this] using to the First Martyr” (Saint Stephen). Likewise (each side) is a gilded Christogram made up of a chi and rho (the very first 2 letters of Christ’s name in Greek) flanked by alpha and Omega. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolizing that Christ is the beginning and end of all things. Locations of the bowl are completed; foot is corrected and repaired.

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