Object of the Month – September 2011

Stone mould

This object on display in the History Gallery is a stone mould for casting a small figure, possibly that of a saint. During the 1400s Coventry was a thriving city with many trades including metal casting.

This unique object is one part of a three-piece mould used to cast a pewter devotional figure. The figure would have been made hollow to act as a container or reliquary. It’s likely this was a souvenir of a visit perhaps by someone on pilgrimage. Pilgrims visited Coventry because the Cathedral held relics including a fragment of the true cross and the arm of St. Augustine of Hippo.

On the reverse side is part of a heraldic motif for a badge or belt fitting with crowns and quatrefoil design. This is evidence of secondary usage as the stone was expensive to quarry and carving a mould’s design must have taken a day or even two. The stone probably came from around Southam and Long Itchington about 15 miles from Coventry.

Coventry holds over 200 stone moulds from archaeological sites all over the city centre. These demonstrate a vibrant industry which supported both religious and secular visitors during the late medieval and early Tudor times. There is a selection of these interesting objects on display in the History Gallery.

Paul

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Posted on 01/09/2011, in Object of the Month and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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