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Article

Alison Manges Nogueira

Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray ...

Article

Charles Tracy

Places in the choir of a church set aside for the daily use of the clergy. They are usually made of wood and are found only in churches of the Western tradition. Choir-stalls were essentially places for standing, the clergy being required to do so during most of the services. Each stall consists of a folding seat, turning on hinges or pivots, with a ...

Article

Iris Kockelbergh

Closet-like piece of furniture used in the Roman Catholic Church and some other liturgically ‘high’ denominations for auricular confession. Confessionals are always made out of wood, since it was thought inappropriate to use more costly materials for non-liturgical church furnishings. Several types of confessional were in existence during the Middle Ages. In the 12th century the priest was seated while the penitent knelt in front of him. From the 14th century in ...

Article

Minbar  

Pulpit in a mosque, often made of wood or stone. The largest, indeed sometimes the only piece of furniture in a mosque, the minbar derived from the judge’s seat in pre-Islamic Arabia. The first minbar in Islam (c. ad 628–31) is reported to have been the wooden chair with two steps ordered for the mosque of ...

Article

Christa Grössinger

Hinged choir-stall seat, which, when tipped up, gives support to the clergy, who according to the Rules of St Benedict (6th century) were required to stand during the Divine Offices, consisting of the seven Canonical Hours. The term is first mentioned in the 11th-century Constitutiones...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Ornamental glass shade for an oil lamp, designed to be hung in a mosque. It is usually shaped like a vase, with a bulbous body, a flared neck, a flat base, and applied glass loops from which it was suspended. The form emerged in late 13th-century Syria, and many of the finest examples come from Syria and Egypt. From the 16th century mosque lamps were made in Europe (notably Venice) and exported to the Islamic world....

Article

Pew  

Charles Tracy

Term used to designate certain kinds of seating, particularly fixed wooden benches in churches. The provision of permanent seating for the congregation became common only in the later Middle Ages, and it may have been a speciality of England, where most examples survive. Earlier, bench-tables along the walls or encircling the nave piers had provided seating for the old and infirm, but most of the congregation stood, as is still the tradition in the Eastern churches. The earliest surviving examples of fixed wooden pews date from the late 13th century, at ...

Article

Carved finial or decorative motif on a Pew or bench-end or other piece of church furniture. It is often in the form of foliage but can also be figural.