Abbey of Jumièges

Head of a tau-cross crosier

Mid 11th century

As a symbol of the authority of a bishop or abbot of a monastery, like the crosier, the tau.-cross, which is less common, was attached to the end of the pastoral staff.
At the centre of the object on the obverse shown here, we see a silhouette of a man in half-length profile holding a crosier in one hand and book in the other. In the reverse, there is a character with his arms open, who appears to be pushing open the frame surrounding him. Either side of this central part, two foliage scrolls frame images of quadrupeds on the obverse, and birds on the reverse. On the surround of the object there are small holes, probably intended to hold small stones. On the top, there are notches in the shape of almonds, probably intended to receive inlays. The decoration of foliage with fauna is reminiscent of certain capitals in Jumièges as well as Norman illuminated manuscripts from the 11th century and enable the context in which the work was produced to be identified.

Dimensions of the object
L. 11.4 cm ; H. 4.8 cm 

- Exhibitions : Trésors des abbayes normandes, Rouen-Caen 1979, p.269, n°269 ; English romanesque art, 1066-1200, Londres 1984, n° 181, p. 214

Musée départemental des Antiquités de Rouen, Seine-Maritime

Yohann Deslandes, Musée des Antiquités de Rouen