The Pax
Portugal
1501 <> 1525
The Cathedral archives contain a description of “a gilded, chased silver Pax ornamented with animal patterns and five large hyacinths, and weighing three marks and an ounce”, a gift from King Manuel I.
Now obsolete in Christian liturgy, these liturgical objects were formerly used by clergymen and the upper classes for the Rite of Peace during the Holy Mass to replace direct kissing. The Pax was held out and offered for the Kiss of Peace, being therefore equipped with a handle attached on the reverse side.
On the front of this piece there is a depiction of The Adoration of the Magi, framed by an architectural structure. It is topped by the royal coat-of-arms of Portugal, flanked by fantastic figures, abundant in Renaissance imagery.

Gilded, chiselled, cast and embossed silver
Dimensions: Five cabochons of brown-red grossular garnet (hessonite)width: 11 cm height: 20 cm

Commissioned by King Manuel I for the Cathedral of Funchal
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Silversmithery
16th century
Antwerp
Lisbon
Limestone
Chalice