Date Made/Found: around 1780
Material and Medium: Old Sheffield Plate, gilt, silver
Dimensions: Overall: 248 x 90 x 130mm (9 3/4 x 3 9/16 x 5 1/8in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 1967.339 (2)
This is a pair of Old Sheffield Plate altar flagons, made around 1780. Flagons were originally sacramental vessels, later adapted for secular use, especially for beer, when they became known as tankards. In Christian churches they hold the wine for consecration.
The flagons are vase shaped on a round foot. They have a beaded border around the shoulder, a slim neck and a wide lip. The handles are loops decorated with acanthus leaves. The inside is gilt, which means the surface has been applied with a thin layer of gold to prevent tarnish.
The flagons are engraved on one side with a cross patonce pupure and on the other side with a cross crosslet, heart and anchor. As a Christian Cross, the cross patonce with three petals represent the Trinity and the total twelve petals represent the Apostles. The cross, anchor and heart anchor represent faith, hope and charity.