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mazer bowl / bowl-case

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Covered mazer bowl; wood; silver-gilt foot, with enamelled details; in cuir bouilli case; bowl and cover exceedingly thin, and without any silver edges to strengthen them; on cover is a bird, kingfisher(?), with raised wings, enamelled bright green; suspended from its neck is shield enamelled with arms of Flanders (or a lion rampant sable); silver foot has six-lozenge-shaped openings cut in it, and each is chased with enamelled silver plate on which is repeated the design surmounting the cover, on sapphire blue ground; spaces between lozenges deeply engraved with trefoils; lowest member of the foot is a pierced band of quatrefoils; with mazer is second plain wooden bowl, of exactly the same make and size, but damaged and repaired with silver plates and wire; base for attachment to silver mount is of greater diameter; scratched inscription on base; original leather case made with loops for suspension; ornamented with volute scrolls from which radiate spines ending in berries; on top a rose is cut on central boss; shield of arms on each side, Flanders and de Ghistelles (gules a chevron ermine).


  • Date

    • 15thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 14.5 centimetres (mazer)
    • Diameter: 15.9 centimetres (cover)
    • Diameter: 19.2 centimetres (case)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        base of wooden cup
      • Inscription Content

        menen bii
      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    Text from Read and Tonnochy 1928, 'Catalogue of Silver Plate' (Franks Bequest):
    Sir Wollaston Franks ('Proc. Soc. Antiq.' XIV, 253) believed that this interesting cup was made for Louis de Mâle, Count of Flanders (1346-84). This, however, can hardly be the case. In the first place the style of the work is of a later date than the date of Louis de Mâle, and in the second, the two coats of Flanders and de Ghistelles do not fit him. On the other hand they apply very well to one of his illegitimate sons, Louis de Flandres, called 'le Frizon'. This man, "lequel est fort recommandé par touttes les histoires pour vn sage, vaillant, et tres-redoubté Chevalier, auquel ledit Comte donna, en advancement de son mariage avec Dame Marie de Guistelles, Dame de Zweveghem et de Rosebeke, les terres et Baronies de Praet et de Woestine" (Olivarius Vredius, 'Genealogiae Comitum Flandriae', Bruges, 1643, II, 276), is by this marriage much more likely to have been the owner of the mazer. His son Messire Jean de Flandres bore for his arms 'argent a canton of Flanders'.
    Jackson ('English Plate', II, p. 605, plate opposite p. 613) compares this mazer with a fine example preserved at All Souls College, Oxford, which also has a cover: it is probably French, about 1440.


  • Bibliography

    • Read & Tonnochy 1928 1 bibliographic details
    • Robinson 2008 p. 247 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G40/dc3

  • Exhibition history

    1975 21 Jun-31 Aug, Belgium, Ghent, Bijloke Museum, A Thousand Years of Art and Culture in Ghent

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Obtained at Malines 1865

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Mazer and cover


COMPASS Title: Mazer and cover

Image description



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Object reference number: MCM2879

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