The Ampulla and the Anointing Spoon

The Ampulla and the Anointing Spoon. There is some evidence that the Spoon was used at the coronation of the profligate King John in May 1199

The Ampulla and the Anointing Spoon. There is some evidence that the Spoon was used at the coronation of the profligate King John in May 1199

The two oldest objects used in the coronation ceremony are the ampulla and anointing spoon. The ampulla is a vessel of fine gold in the shape of an eagle and it contains the holy oil used to anoint the Sovereign. The head unscrews to admit the oil which is poured out through the beak. The date of the eagle’s body is thought to be 14th century but the gold work, wings and base were probably added about 1661.

The silver gilt anointing spoon into which the oil is poured is believed to date from the 12th century. The stem is chased and set with four fresh water pearls.

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