An aumbry is a self-supporting, locked box that holds the chalice of the host and holy oils used for the Eucharist. When mounted at the alter it is known as a tabernacle. This box on stand is a two-piece construction. The box may be removed from the stand for use as a tabernacle. The cobalt blue enameled silver door inlays and the more remarkable cloisonne borders depicting the 365 saints of the Episcopal Church were made by silversmith Marietta Loudon of Carson City Nevada. I have laboriously hand inlaid the delicate enameled "arabesque" letters into the equally carefully chosen walnut door, which spell out the words "I AM." The cloisonne (each unique saint and the two crosses are "drawn" with fine wires and enameled on silver) border is set into the wenge frame of the aumbry. The door swings on the dreaded "invisible" hinges, which are always a challenge to install. The frame of the box is of thinner wood than the stand, perhaps in the style of the "Ark of the Covenant." This collaborative effort was patronized by a long-time member of the church, Jean Packard, who left the money in her estate in the hope that it would be used to build an aumbry that is a work of art. You may notice that the sexton immediately cut off the ends of the "legs" as the right Reverend Gleeson, for who I have now built five pieces, did not mention that it would sit on a shelf that restricted that dimension:) Needless to say, the more expensive part of this piece is the incredible silversmithing!
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