SILVER. Art | Object | Story

11th of March 2015

This art deco chalice, together with a paten and small spoon, date from 1931 and belonged to Archbishop Jean Jadot. It is exhibited for the first time as part of an exhibition at the M-Museum in Leuven. The archbishop’s family donated the chalice to the King Baudouin Foundation in 2013. It is made from silver, vermeil and tiger’s eye, a rather unexpected fine stone to use in liturgical silverware.

Among the objects exhibited at the M – Museum are a number of other remarkable and little known pieces. The exhibition reveals a jealously-guarded secret of Leuven: the astonishing art deco creations of the Benedictine monk Dom Martin (1889–1965)! This modern chalice from the Foundation’s collection is a perfect illustration of his work.

It was during a stay in Leuven between 1920 and 1930 that Dom Martin created some truly exceptional liturgical objects that were destined to be made in a range of noble materials including ivory, malachite, lacquered metal and wood and exotic woods by the famous Brussels silversmith Wolfers Frères. These modern creations, often unique examples, were greatly admired beyond Belgium. Unknown until recently, the chalice also helps illustrate Dom Martin’s creative process.

Organised with the Silver Museum of the Province of Antwerp, the exhibition covers five centuries of silverware ranging from exuberant gothic pieces to geometric art deco objects and includes both civil and religious silverware.

From 12 February until 12 July 2015 at M-Museum, Leuven.