The Plate

maundy dish

In addition to the Crown Jewels a magnificent collection of plate is on view in the Jewel House. It includes plate once used at the Coronation Banquet in Westminster Hall.

The Communion Plate is a very handsome chalice and paten of pure gold, made in the 17th century.

The State Salt, a large and elaborate vessel of silver gilt in the shape and design of a castle, is richly decorated with precious stones. The Salt was presented to Charles II by the City of Exeter and is supposed to be a model of the White Tower. It is, however, much more likely to be a castellated design of Exeter Castle.

The Queen Elizabeth Salt, almost a foot in height, is a very beautiful ornamental vessel and was made in 1572. It is of circular design with a shallow pan at the top, in which salt was placed, and is surmounted by a canopy which may have protected the salt.

the state salt

The Wine Fountain, a magnificent silver-gilt ornament, was presented to Charles II by the City of Plymouth on his restoration. There is some doubt as to whether it was really a wine fountain or a container for perfume.

The Maundy Dish is still used every year on Maundy Thursday when The Queen distributes the Maundy money to a number of selected elderly people; the number being determined by the age of the Sovereign. The dish was made in 1660, but bears in the centre the arms and cipher of William and Mary. It is of silver gilt.

The Wine Cooler, an enormous vessel, which visitors see as they enter the Jewel House, is of silver gilt and contains some 8000 ounces of silver. It is elaborately decorated with a multitude of marine life, shells, shrimps, sea urchins, lobsters and barnacles, as well as insects, lizards, squirrels and fruit. At each end of it are the lion and the unicorn. It was made in 1824 and beside it rests a huge ladle in the form of a shell of silver gilt.


The Feather-pattem Vessels are of a most unusual design. Their history is obscure but they were probably made for a Prince of Wales, hence the feathers.

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