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Altar vase
Date Made/Found: 1500-1600
Material and Medium: Pottery
Dimensions: Height 137mm, max diameter 95mm
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: J1954.26
A reconstructed Majolica vase of earthenware with a blue glaze. This vase was made in the Netherlands in the early 1500s. It was found at Beauchief Abbey in Sheffield and was used to hold wine for Holy Communion. It would have been placed on the church altar. Similar vases were also used to display lilies, a flower associated with the Virgin Mary. Beauchief was one of 35 abbeys in Britain run by the Premonstretensian religious order. The Premonstretensians wore a white woollen habit, so they were known as the White Canons or Norbertines. They were not actually monks, but canons; priests who went out into the community to preach, provide medical care and teach. Under Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, Abbot John Greenwood surrendered the abbey in 1537. The canons were allowed to leave without harm and would have gone to work in other parishes as priests. The buildings were dismantled over the years and the lands passed to the Strelley and Pegge families.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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