Gift of Katharine T. and Merrill G. Beede, Class of 1929; M.991.39.6
Although America’s wealthiest churches generally preferred silver communion sets, pewter sets were common in more modest places of worship and arguably better reflected the Calvinist values of humility and reserve. As with silver, ecclesiastical forms in pewter were initially interchangeable with domestic pieces but became standardized in the late eighteenth century. A set typically consisted of one or two flagons, a couple of chalices, an alms basin, and sometime a large paten. Flagons were by far the showiest pieces, and examples of this form by T. D. and S. Boardman are particularly so. This piece, with its double-scroll handle, flared base, tapered body with midband, and finial-topped lid, reveals the majestic silhouette for which Boardman flagons are revered. Unlike basins, flagons necessitated the use of multiple molds in their construction process. This example, for instance, appears to have been made by joining eleven separate pieces.
Last Updated: 5/1/09