Ivory Angels, Winchester City Museum

Title

Ivory Angels, Winchester City Museum

Subject

Archaeology

Description

Working as a volunteer in Winchester City Museum has given me the opportunity to record treasures that might be missed on a quick visit — like this tiny 76 mm by 48 mm carved walrus ivory panel. It was possibly made to embellish a keyhole at the top of a box. As I began to draw, realised that the sculptor had generated a kind of joyous energy by repeatedly carving sinuous "S" shapes into the drapery, the arms and especially in those wiggling feet. My sepia version on the right is correctly positioned but posters often show it upside down (left) possibly because the angels look happier rising rather than falling. They aren't actually falling at all, but emulate a medieval illustration of the time where angels descend to the baptism of the infant Jesus. And those large hands aren't just my lack of skill, they're another characteristic of this style, which flourished in the peace following Alfred's reign and became known as "The Winchester School".

Creator

John Hicks

Date

Late 10th Century

Language

English

Date Created

2008-12-01

Files

Ivory Angels, Winchester City Museum

Citation

John Hicks, “Ivory Angels, Winchester City Museum,” Woruldhord, accessed February 22, 2020, http://poppy.nsms.ox.ac.uk/woruldhord/items/show/386.

Geolocation