The earliest piece in the collection is a silver gilt chalice offered to the Mosteiro de S. Miguel de Refoios by D. Gueda Mendes. It is a masterpiece of 12th century precious metalwork with its fine proportions, purity of form and richness of iconography. It portrays Christ and the Apostles on the bowl and the symbols of the Evangelists on the foot: the lion of St. Mark; the angel of St. Matthew, the bull of St. Luke and the eagle of St. John. In typical Romanesque style, both the figures and their frames are executed in subtle relief, as are the inscriptions around the rim and base of the foot. This chalice employs a profuse decorative programme, unparalleled in Portugal, in which the figurative representation prevails over geometric or plant motives