By Francis Cheetham
From the past due 1300s to the Reformation, alabaster carving was once a massive job within the English Midlands, in a space targeted on Nottingham. Altarpieces and panels have been produced for the house marketplace, but in addition for export; the sculptures have a particular variety, dictated through the non secular topics and through the cloth, and have been frequently painted and gilded. on the Reformation, such goods have been hidden or destroyed, and it's the survival of various continental examples, really in France, including the rest examples from England, that permits the heritage of alabaster carving to be documented. This booklet catalogues a few 2,400 carvings, with their situation and released references, coupled with a Geographical Index. it's the fullest catalogue but compiled on those beautiful small-scale sculptures, incorporating a lot new details, fairly in terms of the iconography of the carvings. The past due FRANCIS CHEETHAM was once additionally the writer of English Medieval Alabasters, containing a listing of the gathering within the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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Extra info for Alabaster Images of Medieval England (Museum of London Medieval Finds 1150 -- 1450)
9 Cheetham 1984, 88, cat. 17, illus. v. – Maclagan 1920, 62, pl. v. – Nelson 1920a, 197, pl. v. – Biver 1910a, 69, pl. v. 5 × 16 8 British Museum, London (24) Inv. 9 Nelson 1923b, 129, pl. ; wrongly entitled St Barbara Unpublished Society of Antiquaries, 1913, no. 61, pl. v. 4 41 × 24 – Tavender 1955, no. 1, 71 Fiorin 1969–70, 138, fig. 25 Rev. J. A. ; Sotheby’s, 13 June 1947, Sale Catalogue, no. v. v. 2 Cheetham 1984, 89, cat. 18, illus. Maclagan 1920, 62, pl. IIC Nelson 1913, 134, pl. I, no. v.
5 Cheetham 1981, 25; Dias, 286, no. 13, illus. 3 Museu Nacional Grao Vasco, Viseu, Portugal Damaged fragment; at the bottom a worn Gothic inscription. 5 × 22 Cheetham 1981, 44; Dias, 287, no. 14, illus. 2 Cheetham 1984, 90, cat. 19, illus. 8 Cheetham 1984, 91, cat. 20, illus. v. – Maclagan 1920, 62, pl. v. – Nelson, 1920a, 198–9, pl. v. – Biver 1910a, 69, pl. v. v. 10 Church of Wood Ditton, Cambridgeshire Fragment 11 Private collection, Bruges, Belgium (1976) (28) 12 Private collection, Great Britain (1968) Plaster cast of an unrecorded alabaster; see Burning of the Philosophers (9).
Figures of St John the Baptist (44) and St John the Evangelist (37) are well represented and doubtless reflect their popular use as the flanking saints of many altarpieces – the Swansea altarpiece in the Victoria and Albert Museum being one example. A most popular saint was St Catherine of Alexandria (34). St Barbara (12) was reasonably popular, perhaps because she often balanced the figure of St Catherine on the altarpieces. Another specialisation was the carving of heads of St John the Baptist, which surviving records show was based in Nottingham.