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The Coronation Roll
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The Ampulla and Coronation Spoon
© Royal Collection Trust

Ampulla and spoon

The ampulla and spoon are used for the anointing, the most sacred part of the Service. The ampulla was supplied for the Coronation of King Charles II in 1661 and is based on a fourteenth-century legend where the Virgin Mary appeared to Archbishop Thomas Becket and presented him with a golden eagle and a vial of oil for anointing the future kings of England. The spoon is one of the few items of regalia that date from before the Civil War. The spoon is first recorded in 1349 as preserved among St Edward’s Regalia in Westminster Abbey. Already at this date it is described as a spoon of ‘antique forme’. Stylistically it seems to relate to the twelfth century and is therefore a remarkable survival – the only piece of royal goldsmiths’ work to survive from that century. It was possibly supplied to Henry II or Richard I. The spoon was sold off during the Civil War, but returned at the Restoration when pearls were added.