Hungary, 15th century
gilt silver and filigree enamel
Medieval Art 
Diameter - h:19.55 cm (h:7 11/16 inches)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
The chalice and paten-the most important liturgical vessels-are used at the altar by the priest for the consecration of the Eucharistic bread and wine during the celebration of the mass. This chalice survives with its original paten. The form of the chalice evolved over the centuries. Gothic chalices, like this one, gradually developed angular or faceted knops, generally hexagonal, with lobed feet. This sublime example is decorated with filigree enamel consisting of twisted gold wire forming a floral design, which in turn is filled with colorful glass pastes. Gemstones add to the embellishment.