A Fine English Romanesque Carved Limestone Corbel Head

A Fine English Romanesque Carved Limestone Corbel Head

1100 to 1200 England

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A Fine English Romanesque Carved Limestone Corbel Head
Lincoln
Circa 1170 – 1190

Size : 37 cm high, 24 cm wide, 18 cm deep – 14½ ins high, 9½ ins wide, 7 ins deep
Provenance : From the collection of Sir Francis Hill (1899-1980)
Ex English Private collection

cf A Series of similar relief fragments circa 1180 in Christchurch Cathedral, Canterbury made of caen stone
With special thanks to Dr. Ron Baxter of the Courtauld Institute, London, for his help in dating this piece.
Sir Francis Hill was a prominent local Lincoln archaeologist, historian and politician. He recorded in his book 'Medieval Lincoln' that by the middle of the 12th century Lincoln had 43 churches, 35 of which were founded by 1100, 15 of which were within the city walls. Hill discovered this sculpture whilst supervising the demolition of the Church of St Peter at Arches where 12th century fragments were found in the basement.
The head is very powerfully modelled with the eyes deeply drilled and which may once have been filled with lead. There are also drill holes at the corners of the eyes creating shadow and giving greater definition to the composition and showing the masons understanding of good carving technique. The open mouth revealing teeth produced with exaggerated drilling and drooping moustache suggest that a similar illuminated manuscript image could have inspired this fine and unusual work.

Dimensions
Height 37.00 cm (14.57 inches)
Width 24.00 cm (9.45 inches)
Depth 18.00 cm (7.09 inches)
Medium
Limestone
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