Object ID
2003.27.1
Object Name
Chalice
Material
Brass
Object Entities
Object Description
Large, highly decorated chalice bade from brass. The cup itself constitues only about a fourth of the entire chalice. The extremely large base is round with eight lobes. The top face of each lobe has been decorated with alternating patterns on the triangular sections. The smaller sections have a winding floral motif while the large sections depict Christ and each of the four evagelists. Each slice has a different symbol for each evangelist: the angel for Matthew, the lion for Mark, the bull for Luke, and the eagle for John. Each of these 8 sections is separated by tall, slim tree accents. The shaft of the handle has a series of decorated bulbs. The bottom two of these are decorated with petal patters while the topmost, and largest, has four wreathed faces. Since these faces are directly above the evangelist's animal symbols they could represent the men. The cup itself is highly decorated with an intertwining floral scene and a wreath of vines bordering the top band. The lower portion is punctuated by four circular portraits. One is of Christ Pantocrator, the next is of christ holding a long staff with a cross at the end, the next is of the corss itself with a rod, scroll, skull, and ladder surrounding it, the last image is of Mary.
Origin
This chalice was used to hold and administer the "blood of christ" for communion. Many Greek Orthodox chalices are highly decorated in the Byzantine tradition with images of Christ and ornate and intricate carving. Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1927 at its current location on Winona Street, on the north side of Chicago. Demetrios was sainted for his faith in the face of Roman persecution. He used his position as a public figure to convert many greeks in Thessaly and was openly defiant to the Emperor.
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Citation
Chalice, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6917. Accessed 10/16/21.