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The Ballafletcher Fairy Cup

Date made: 16th century

Description: An engraved glass traditionally known as 'The Fairy Cup of Ballafletcher'. It was said that Magnus, King of Norway took a cup from the shrine of St Olaf (d.1030) and brought it to the Isle of Man. It then came into the possession of the Bishop of Sodor and Mann, who in turn placed it in the care of the Fletcher family, of Braddan. It was said that while the glass remained unbroken, the 'Lhiannan Shee', or Spirit Friend, would keep its owner in peace and plenty.

The glass tumbler is engraved with a floral design and is thought to date from the 17th century, at the earliest.

The 'Ballafletcher Fairy Cup' is not the only cup that has fairy associations on the Isle of Man; the 'fairy cup of Malew' was said in the 17th century to be a silver cup acquired from a fairy banquet and that was later used as a communion cup at Kirk Malew. These are just some of the many tales that relate to the importance of fairy belief on the Isle of Man in the past.

Measurements: overall: 15 cm x x x 10 cm

Materials: glass

Object name: beaker

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1954-1744


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