Gloucester Abbey
Gilded copper alloy candlestick

Commissioned 1107-13 by Abbot Peter and the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, now the Cathedral at Gloucester.
Probably one of a pair of altar candlesticks, it was made as a wax casting in three main sections: 1. a three-sided base on dragon feet, 2. cylindrical stem, 3. hemispherical drip pan. The sections were assembled around a central vertical iron rod which emerges as a spike at the top. The object is covered with openwork decoration portraying beasts and human figures enmeshed in foliage. Inscribed in Latin: 'This flood of light, this work of virtue bright with holy doctrine instructs us, so that Man shall not be condemned to vice'. Another inscription in 13th century characters records that the object was given to Le Mans cathedral.
Dimensions: H.512, W. ( at base) 205mm

Bibliography :
Stratford, N., 1984. in G. Zarnecki, J. Holt, and T. Holland, English Romanesque Art, (Arts Council of Great Britain) 249, 247
Location and accession details
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, M.7649.1861

(Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum)

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