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date: 29 October 2020

Gloucester Candlesticklocked

  • Kirstin Kennedy

Extract

A rare and outstanding example of early 12th-century English metalwork (h. 580 mm; 5.76 kg; London, V&A; see fig.). The candlestick is an intricate piece of openwork, cast in three sections using the cire perdue (‘lost wax’) process with an alloy of high silver content. The gilded candlestick’s dense foliage ornament includes climbing figures and dragon-like beasts, with the four symbols of the evangelists around the central knop of the stem. The candlestick received its name from the inscription on its stem, which states it was donated to the church (later cathedral) of St Peter, in Gloucester: + abbatis.petri.gregis / et:devotio.mitis/ + me dedit:ecclesie: / sci:petri:gloecestre: (‘The gentle devotion of Abbot Peter and his flock gave me to the church of St Peter at Gloucester’). The inscription also provides the early 12th-century dating: Peter was elected abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St Peter, Gloucester, in August 1107 and held the post until his death in ...

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