What is the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon? | The Sun

OUT of all the objects used within Coronations, the ampulla and spoon are arguably the most important. 

Here we take a look at what they are and their uses.

What is the Ampulla in the coronation?

The Ampulla and Anointing Spoon are the two oldest objects used in the Coronation.

The Ampulla is a vessel made of fine gold in the shape of an eagle.

It was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661 and made by the Crown Jeweller, Robert Vyner.

It contains the holy oil used to anoint the sovereign during the ceremony.

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What is the Ampulla used for?

The Ampulla is used for anointing the new sovereign.

The head of the eagle can be removed with the oil pouring from the bird's beak.

What is the Coronation Spoon?

The Coronation or Anointing Spoon is used alongside the Ampulla.

The implement was first recorded in the Royal Collection in 1349.

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The original spoon is held at the Tower of London and made of gold.

It is used to anoint the sovereign.

The stem of the spoon is chased and set with four freshwater pearls.

The pearls were an addition to the spoon in 1661.

What is the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon used for?

The Coronation Spoon is used to transfer the oil from the Ampulla to the Monarch for anointing.

The King or Queen is anointed on the forehead, breast, and hands.

This ceremony is steeped in tradition, and the use of the Ampulla and Anointing Spoon is one of its most significant elements.

Although the items in the ceremony have been adapted over time, the use of these two items have remained constant.

The items were last used for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

How old is the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon?

The date of the body of the eagle is said to be around the fourteenth century.

However, it is believed that the goldwork, wings and base were added in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II.

The Coronation Spoon is said to date from the 12th century with evidence of its use at the coronation of King John in 1199, although the Royal Collection dates it back to Henry II or Richard I.

The spoon is believed to be the oldest item used in the coronation service.

What is the value of the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon?

The exact value of the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon is unknown.

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However, it was sold for 16 shillings to Clement Kynnersley, an official who looked after Charles I’s wardrobe.

Kynnersley then returned it for a small profit for Charles II’s coronation.

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