Early foot-washing ceremonies are documented from the reign of Charles V.
The ceremony was performed on elderly paupers – who were instructed to wash thoroughly before presenting themselves! After a meal consisting of traditional Lenten fare, the paupers received gifts of a lidded earthenware jug filled with white wine, a silver beaker marked with the double eagle and the year,
dishes of food and a pouch containing thirty silver coins, a reference to the thirty pieces of silver received by Judas for betraying Christ.
The two gold lavabo garnitures were made by the foremost Augsburg silversmiths of the eighteenth century. They were used for baptisms of the Habsburgs, for ceremonial ablutions at table and the footwashing ceremony at Easter.