Secular to Sacred: The Story of the Lacock Cup

Secular to Sacred: The Story of the Lacock Cup The Lacock Cup, plain and gilded silver, England, 15th century © The Trustees of the British Museum

Saturday, January 31, 2015 to Monday, May 4, 2015

Booking: No booking required.
Cost: Normal admission charges apply.

A Spotlight Tour from the British Museum 

The Salisbury Museum is the first of five venues exhibiting the magnificent Lacock Cup recently jointly acquired by The British Museum and The Wiltshire Museum with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and private donations. Dating from the mid-15th century, the Lacock Cup is a stunning piece of craftsmanship with a unique dual history; it has been used both as a feasting cup and a holy chalice.  An English silver and partially gilded drinking cup, it is of a type dating to the late Middle Ages, most of which have been destroyed.  The Lacock Cup survived only because it was gifted to the Church of St. Cyriac in Lacock, Wiltshire in the post-reformation period, where it was used as a sacred vessel for over 400 years.  It was loaned to the British Museum in 1963 but continued to return to Lacock for certain religious festivals until about thirty years ago.  

This capsule exhibition will explore the rich context surrounding the Lacock Cup, in particular its secular and sacred associations, and the historic shifts it encountered.  Alongside objects from our own collections, other remarkable objects on loan exclusively to The Salisbury Museum include a gold coin of the Crown of the Double Rose of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon (Mint 1526-33), a group of silver chalices, and the terminal of a medieval drinking horn. 

As well as private collections, lenders to the exhibition are: Churches Conservation Trust and the local parishes of Lower Wylye & Till Valley; Wylye and Fisherton; Upper Wylye; Odstock, Nunton and Bodenham.  We would also like to thank Salisbury Cathedral for their assistance with these loans.

Generously supported by the John Ellerman Foundation