Ancient and medieval civilizations, natural wonders, and master craftsmanship converge in this chalice, which was created to hold sacramental wine at the abbey church of Saint-Denis near Paris. The sardonyx cup was carved in Alexandria, Egypt, into a fluted form that reveals swirling patterns in the stone. Some twelve hundred years later, striving to fill the French royal abbey with heavenly splendor, Abbot Suger had goldsmiths set the cup in gilded silver and adorn it with gems and pearls for use in the Mass. The solemn Christ in a medallion on the foot appears between the letters Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
Reed Enger, "Chalice of the Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis," in Obelisk Art History, Published July 24, 2017; last modified May 27, 2020, http://arthistoryproject.com/timeline/middle-ages/gothic-art/chalice-of-the-abbot-suger-of-saint-denis/.