Gilded silver paten

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C. 1640
Partly gilded silver
12.2 cm

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This gilded silver paten is finely engraved with a depiction of the baptism of Cornelius the Centurion by the Apostle Peter, surrounded by a crowd. Around the scene is the elegantly engraved text: 'Den Tauff Cornelius der Krieges Held empfangt: Wornach der gleubig Zilt dasselb er Leicht er Langt', which can be translated as: 'The baptism that war hero Cornelius receives, upon which the believer cries out that it is too easy'. This refers to the Bible story where Peter, after receiving a vision, baptises the Roman centurion Cornelius. Cornelius is the first Gentile to be baptised and his baptism is a significant moment in the history of the early Christian church. Cornelius is shown kneeling while being sprinkled with water by Peter, with aura. The shocked reaction of the Jews, on the right, is aptly portrayed.

A paten is a round, often hollow, dish of gilded copper or silver that is used during mass. The host is placed on the paten, which fits exactly on the chalice. The paten is part of the vasa sacra of liturgical vessels in the Catholic Church. 


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