The Gloucester Candlestick

The Gloucester Candlestick

Candlestick (known as the Gloucester Candlestick)
England
1104-1113
Cast metal alloy, gilt
Height 51cm
Museum No. 7649-1861

This elaborate metal candlestick reflects the extremely high level of skill of the craftsperson, probably a goldsmith, who made it. The dense decoration is formed of wonderful figures and apes interspersed between thick intertwined shoots of foliage. Three long-eared dragons with outspread wings form the supporting feet.

There are three inscriptions in Latin. The one on the stem, above and below the central knop (or knob) refers to the donation of the candlestick and reads: 'The devotion of abbot Peter and his gentle flock gave me to the church of St Peter at Gloucester'. This must refer to what is now Gloucester Cathedral, but which was then a Benedictine monastery where there was an abbot named Peter between 1104-1113.