George Sharp for Bailey & Co., Large Antique Sterling Silver Chalice, Philadelphia, c. 1867
This fine large chalice came from Christ Church in Germantown, a neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Featuring a bold knop in the center of the stem, the chalice rests on a spreading stepped foot. One side is engraved, "Christ Church/ Germantown/ 1867," the other, "Grace be with all them/ that love our Lord Jesus Christ/ in sincerity."
The Episcopal Divinity School was formerly the Episcopal Theological School founded in 1867 in Cambridge; it changed its name in 1974 when it combined with the Philadelphia Divinity School which was founded in 1857. In 2018, the school merged with the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the campus was acquired by Leslie University. For more history of the school, see here.
Christ Church in Germantown was a massive Gothic church designed by the architectural partnership of Samuel Sloan and John Stewart. Sloan was one of Philadelphia's most significant mid-19th-century architects (see here), and Christ Church was built during his productive years of the 1850s while he was in partnership with John Stewart.
The size of the church building reflects the ambitions of both the architects and congregants (not to mention the congregant's wealth). One can easily see the need for such a large chalice in such a large church.
Christ Church Germantown in a c. 1857 P. S. Duval lithograph from the Library of Congress.
The extraordinary church seen above was destroyed on October 23, 1878, by a hurricane which toppled the fantastic steeple onto the roof which collapsed and leveled the building. (1)
This large chalice, a remarkable hurricane survivor, is marked under the foot "Bailey & Co." and with the lion, "S," shield and larger lion mark used by Sharp and Bailey on sterling silver. (See here for more on the marks.) It measures 9.375 inches high, and the cup is 5 inches in diameter. It weighs 18.6 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition retaining its beautiful original interior gilding.
"A Brief History of Christ Church", in The Parish of Christ Church and St. Michael's: Trinity Sunday, June the Eleventh, 1933, (Germantown: Diocese of Pennsylvania, 1933), np.
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