1948.13 | Ardach Chalice

Ardach Chalice
1930, 20th century
15.3 x 25 cm
Bequest of the Right Honourable Richard Bedford, Viscount Bennett
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

On the constitutional front, the Imperial Conference of 1930 produced the Statute of Westminster (adopted in 1931), which provided some autonomy to the dominions of the Empire. While Canada benefited from the legislation, the drive for autonomy was lead by two more radical-seeming dominions, the Irish Free State and South Africa.

As the Prime Minister of the Empire's oldest Dominion, R.B. Bennett (1870-1947) was treated with due respect as he traveled throughout the British Isles in the fall of 1930. On a visit to the Irish Free State, he received a sterling silver replica of the Ardagh Chalice, an ancient silver chalice and the pride of the State. It is an interesting illustration of Bennett's prestige among leaders that he would be given a facsimile of such a symbolic piece.

  • What

    Ardagh, sometimes spelled "ardach," means high plain or high field.

  • Where

    The original Ardagh Chalice is housed in the National Museum of Ireland and is considered the finest example of 8th-century metalwork.

  • When

    Two men digging potatoes found the original Ardagh Chalice in 1868.

  • Who

    The creator of the original chalice is unknown, as is its actual use .