Objects | Art/Craft/Design


The Bayrheed Mazer, 1600-1630

Laing Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear

Decorative Art and Design

1600 – 1799

This bowl may be the second earliest known example of North East silver; the earliest is a communion cup dated 1583, in the Treasury at York Minster.

From 1248 Newcastle was an important enough town to have its own Assay Office, and supported a number of goldsmiths. They created a range of luxury goods in both gold and silver, beautifully decorated with innovative techniques including embossing, hammering, punching and engraving.

A mazer is a medieval drinking vessel, and were often made out of maple wood. The Bayrheed Mazer is especially rare, as it is not usually known who made such items. William Bayrheed (Barehead) is recorded as a goldsmith of Durham. The wooden bowl has been placed into a 'cage' of silver straps, perhaps to strengthen it. The boss has the letters 'IHS' on it - a symbol for the name of Jesus Christ which often appeared on items used in churches.

By William Bayrheed (late 16th – early 17th century)

On display at the Laing Art Gallery, in the Northern Spirit Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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