St Augustine's gold chalice returns to auction at $55,000

A gold chalice which was once housed in St Augustine's Abbey in Ramsgate, UK, is to be re-offered on July 10-11.

St Augustine's Abbey Chalice Omar Ramsden
Omar Ramsden's creation may return to its original home

The chalice was originally sold at auction earlier this year, where it made £17,327 to raise funds for the Benedictine monks who could no longer afford to maintain the Pugin-designed abbey. Catholic philanthropist Ilyas Khan stepped in to save some of the church's myriad treasures, but unfortunately the chalice was not among them.

The magnificent piece was created by Omar Ramsden, one of England's leading gold and silversmiths in the late 19th and early 20th century. Made from 15 carat gold, the chalice features a superb ivory stem and is marked at the base with Ramsden's characteristic maker's mark: "Omar Ramsden Me Fecit", which translates as "Omar Ramsden Made This".

The auction arises from the buyer's decision to return the chalice and its accompanying paten to its county of origin, where it is hoped the item will once again return to the church.

"Omar Ramsden is an iconic maker who had chasers and engravers working for him in Canterbury and we are delighted to be bringing the pieces back home, so to speak. The owner, our seller, has made it clear to us that he feels that something of such local and historical importance should be returned to its county of origin," said auctioneer Tony Pratt.  

The chalice and paten will be auctioned with a pre-sale estimate of £25,000-35,000, with the heightened price attributed to the "rising value of gold and significance of the maker".

The value of collectible items is always increased when they have a particular attachment to an important place or event. These majestic antique oak library steps, which are currently on offer with Paul Fraser Collectibles, were made for Cambridge's Gonville Caius College by furniture designer Thomas Sheraton. Similarly, our spectacular 18th century cabinet was once housed in the Lincolnshire home of the Marquess of Exeter.




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