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Crozier head


Height: 15.700 cm

M&ME 1898,5-21,1

Room 40: Medieval Europe

    Crozier head

    Medieval, about AD 1225-1250
    From Belgium

    Decorative head for a staff

    A crozier is a staff used by abbots or bishops of the Christian church as a symbol of office. This highly decorated crozier head is made from gilt silver and bronze. It is lavishly set with gems and nielloed plaques and has a knop of rock crystal.

    The vine leaves which ornament the crozier are a tour de force of naturalistic observation, and their distinctive technique and style suggest a possible origin: a goldsmith in the Meuse valley in modern Belgium. The most likely workshop to produce such items is that of Hugo d'Oignies (active 1187-1228), who was based at Oignies-en-Thiérache, in the province of Namur.

    J. Cherry, Medieval decorative art (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

    J. Robinson, Masterpieces: Medieval Art (London, British Museum Press, 2008)


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    On display: Room 40: Medieval Europe

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    Life and training of embroiderers, £8.99

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