Lunch with LUMA: The History of the Reformation in Six Cups

Lunch with LUMA:
The History of the Reformation in Six Cups

Lunch with LUMA

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Cuneo Hall, Room 425
Open to faculty (RSVP Required)

A History of the Reformation in Six Cups

A talk with LUMA Curator Jonathan Canning

With the acquisition this summer of a late sixteenth-century silver Anglican communion cup, the University’s Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Collection can now tell the story of the Reformation through six cups.

Firstly, LUMA’s fourteenth-century Sienese chalice embodies the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation promulgated by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Its deep tulip-shaped bowl and broad stabilizing base safeguarded the wine that, upon consecration, became the very blood of Christ. The D’Arcy abounds with painted, sculpted, and embroidered images of chalices with similar profiles in the hands of angels at the Crucifixion.

In emulation of the domestic setting of Christ’s Last Supper, Anglicans adopted a type of covered cup to be found on their own dinner tables. The deep cylindrical bowl of LUMA’s 1582 Anglican communion cup is similar to that of a German covered cup also in the collection.

A commanding silver gilt chalice by the late seventeenth-century Augsburg silversmith Hans Jacob Ernst attests to the Catholic Church’s reassertion of doctrine. Red and white enamel plaques depict scenes from the Passion, including an image of an angel presenting Christ with a chalice of suffering in Garden of Gethsemane.

Two chalices tell the story of Catholicism in Anglican Britain. Both retain the traditional Catholic form adapted to the style of their times. The English chalice bears an inscription recording its presentation in 1684 by the recusant Lady Rockwood to the college of Jesuits that secretly ministered to Catholics in eastern England. The chalice bears no hallmarks to protect the identity of the silversmith should it have been discovered by the authorities. In 1724, Peter Browne presented a chalice to the Dominican house on his estate at Burrishoole, County Mayo. The Protestant Anglo-Irish authorities closed the priory and seized its property, including this chalice, later that century.

Look for the announcement of the Anglican communion cup’s installation at LUMA later in the fall.