Maple mazer alms bowl, English, c 13th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mazer bowls are hardwood drinking bowls, often rimmed with silver. In medieval times such bowls were used to gather alms (gifts of money or food). This is a copy of a mazer bowl said to have contained an amber jewel from the shoe of Thomas a Becket (1118-1170), the Archbishop of Canterbury who became a martyr.