Tuesday, February 19, 2008

F.C. Zeigler Company Refurbishes 1938 Chalice for Papal Visit

The F.C. Ziegler Company in Tulsa, OK was given the honor of refurbishing a 1938 chalice to be used during Benedict's papal tour of the United States. Catholic News Service ' Marilyn Duck interviews Don Taylor, who is overseeing the project:

"When you get a piece like that, and you know who will use it and who has used it in the past, I'm absolutely nervous, yes," said the member of St. Cecilia Parish in Claremore, northeast of Tulsa.

The chalice has been housed at the Vatican's embassy in Washington and has been used by previous popes who visited the United States, including Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

A Ziegler's customer who lives in Washington and has worked with the apostolic nuncio recommended the family-owned Tulsa firm as "the best in the industry," Taylor told the Tulsa World daily newspaper. [...]

The restoration by Taylor and his team included removing the rubies, sapphires and glass medallions that adorn the chalice and cleaning and polishing it before recoating the sterling silver chalice with a 24-carat gold finish. On Feb. 19, the chalice was supposed to be on its way back to Washington.

The chalice was manufactured in London in the spring of 1938. Taylor estimated it would cost $12,000-$15,000 to create such a chalice today.

It is typically cleaned once or twice every week by nuns, Taylor said, and the finish simply had worn off. The restoration was to make it "look like it did when it was new," he said.

See also:
  • Tulsa firm refinishing chalice for pope's visit, by Bill Sherman. Tulsa World February 15, 2008.
  • The F.C. Ziegler Company - "In 1929, during the birth of the Great Depression, [F.C. Zeigler] started a jewelry manufacture and repair shop. During World War II, local priests asked if he would begin making chalices and other sacred vessels. Considering it his duty to the Church, he said yes."