A rare piece of Dundee’s history is set to go under the hammer – and could fetch up to £30,000.
The Steeple Kirk Dundee Communion Cup will be sold by Lyon & Turnbull auction house next month.
The listing puts an estimate on it of £20,000 to 30,000.
The item was one of a few communion cups created by Robert Gairdyne, and originates from around 1640.
Early example of Dundee silversmithing
The metal worker’s creations are deemed to be some of the earliest known dated examples of Dundee silversmithing, according to historical reports.
Gairdyne, along with Charles Dickson and Alexander Smith, was commissioned to create the items for the Steeple Church on the Nethergate.
It came after an act was passed in the Scottish Parliament, in 1617, instructing silver cups must serve the communion wine at parishes.
Lyon & Turnbull believes Gairdyne’s works were likely backed by James Smith, Merchant of Dundee, who died in 1640 and was laid to resit in The Howff.
Some of the communion cups are on display locally at The McManus.
Nationally significant silver collection
A spokesperson for Leisure and Culture Dundee said: “In 2012 the Steeple Church notified the Church Council of their intention to sell their collection of historic communion ware.
“The Church Council gave them permission to do this provided The McManus was given the opportunity to purchase on behalf of the city prior to the cups being consigned to auction.
“With grant support from the Art Fund and National Fund for Acquisitions, The McManus purchased three communion cups by Robert Gairdyne, Charles Dickson and Alexander Smith – considered the finest of the Steeple’s historic communion ware.
“All have been on display in the Landscapes and Lives gallery since their acquisition enhancing the city’s nationally significant silver collection.”