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VIII.—The Warden Abbey and Chichester Croziers

  • O. M. Dalton, H. P. Mitchell and J. E. Couchman

Extract

This graceful crozier-head (pi. xxxvn, fig. 1) was found in December 1838 in a stone coffin containing an imperfect skeleton, on ground to the north-east of the cloisters supposed to have been the cemetery of the Abbey.

It is of latten, and cast hollow, as may be seen in a damaged part on one side of the volute. The stem is eight-sided; in place of a socket at the base, it has a tang driven into the top of the wooden staff, a short piece of which is preserved; above the tang is a moulding. In respect of the octagonal crosssection and the use of a tang in place of a socket, this example recalls the larger of those found at St. Davids (Archaeologia, lx, pl. LIII). Over the wood of the staff is passed a detached latten knop, above which is twisted a narrow band of metal to prevent splitting.2 The metal has been gilded. The two holes in the leaf may possibly have been filled by beads of coloured glass, or originally left empty as they now are.

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page 211 note 1 In 1925 it was deposited as a permanent loan in the British Museum by the kindness of the owner, S. Howard Whitbread, Esq., C.B., His Majesty's Lieutenant for Bedfordshire. The height of the crozier-head is 6–2 in. including the knop.

page 211 note 2 It seems unlikely that this rather rough-and-ready arrangement can have been the original one. We should have expected some kind of metal collar, perhaps enriched with ornament.

page 211 note 3 Martin, Cahier et, Mélanges d'archéologie, iv, 1856, pp. 145 ff.

page 212 note 1 The symbolism of the crozier has been variously interpreted. Thus the dragon, or serpent, has been conjectured to represent wisdom, or the brazen serpent (lifted up as vanquished); but the more generally accepted view is that it stands for the Spirit of Evil.

page 212 note 2 Cf. Thompson, Henry Yates, Illustrations from One Hundred Manuscripts (1914), pl. iv, from Bede's Life of Cuthbert (the manuscript now in the British Museum, Add. 39943). Also the capital B in the York Psalter of c. A. D. 1170 in the Burlington Fine Arts Club Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts Catalogue, no. 31, plate 30, and another initial from a rather later English Psalter, plate 32 in the same catalogue.

page 212 note 3 Beds, V. C. H., i, 365.

VIII.—The Warden Abbey and Chichester Croziers

  • O. M. Dalton, H. P. Mitchell and J. E. Couchman

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