Copy of a European sacrament dispenser (1500s)

Made:
1601-1700 in Europe

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Copy of a very long instrument used by priests to dispense the sacraments and avoid personal contact with persons suffering from plague, original 16th century

This rather odd instrument was used to give out Holy Communion while keeping those with plague literally at arm’s length. It is just over a metre long. One prong at the end of the fork has a slit to take the communion wafer, and the other prong has five small holes from which wine can be drunk.

This copy was presented to the Wellcome Museum for the History of Medicine, now known as the Wellcome Trust, by the director of the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 1939.

Details

Category:
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A629402
type:
sacrament dispenser
taxonomy:
  • ceremonial object
  • religious object
credit:
Institut Pasteur