- CVMA Colloquium
- Professor Rüdiger Becksmann
- Unique Roundels Acquired
- Study Day about the Medieval Stained Glass in the Savile Chapel at Thornhill (Yorkshire)
- Where there’s a will…
- Wenlok Jug Stolen from Stockwood Discovery Centre
The 26th international colloquium of the Corpus Vitrearum will be held this year in Vienna, 10–14 September 2012. It will be hosted by the Austrian national committee of the CVMA, and the theme of the conference will be ‘Dynastic representation in stained glass’ [Fig. 1]. A publication of the conference results is planned.
For more information visit the website of the Austrian Corpus Vitrearum.
Professor Rüdiger Becksmann
We are extremely sorry to announce the untimely death of Professor Rüdiger Becksmann, one of the world’s leading scholars of medieval stained glass, and a key member of both the German CVMA and the international Corpus Vitrearum. A full appreciation of his life will appear in a later issue of Vidimus.
Unique Roundels Acquired
Six roundels from a unique early sixteenth-century group of eight depicting Labours of the Month have been acquired by Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Four are now in Norwich and two in London. The roundels probably depict Labours for the months of March, April, June, July, August and September [Figs 1–3]. English roundels of this date are extremely rare.
Before their acquisition, these roundels had a complex history. They were probably originally made for the house of an early sixteenth-century mayor of Norwich, Thomas Pykerell, which still stands. Thereafter they are known to have been installed at a stately home, Brandiston Hall in central Norfolk, from some point in the mid-nineteenth century until 1985. At that point, scholars lost track of the roundels, and they are listed as missing in Kerry Ayre’s Medieval English Figurative Roundels (CVMA (GB), Summary Catalogue 6, Oxford, 2002, pp. 163–65). Last year however a dealer offered them to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. The artist has been traditionally identified as one John Wattock from Norwich, but the precise origins of the work remain a mystery. CVMA scholar David King will contribute an exclusive article about the roundels in the next issue of Vidimus.
The Norfolk roundels were acquired for £194,000. The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Art Fund awarded £93,000 and £70,000 respectively towards the cost, with the rest of the funding coming from The Pilgrim Trust (£18,000), the Friends of Norwich Museums (£6,000), the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts (£4,000), and the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust (£3,000). The cost of the roundels acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum is not known.
We are indebted to the Art Fund and to Dr Francesca Vanke of the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery for their help with this item.
Study Day about the Medieval Stained Glass in the Savile Chapel at Thornhill (Yorkshire)
A study day on the important fifteenth-century glass in the Savile Chapel at the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, Thornhill (Yorkshire), will be held on 13 October 2012, 11am – 3pm.
The glass in the east window of the chapel includes a rare depiction of the Heavenly City. As reported in issue no. 49 of Vidimus, a multi-disciplinary collaboration between different experts has resulted in the decision to create a replica window and display elements of the ancient glass within the Savile Chapel. Some of the glass was featured as the Panel of the Month in issue no. 27 of Vidimus.
The study day aims to examine the how and why of this uniquely fascinating project, and to promote informed debate. Speakers include Sarah Brown, chairman of the CVMA; Dr David Martlew, chairman of the Society of Glass Technology; and the well-known glass painter, Jonathan Cooke ACR. Admission costs are £10 (students £5), which cost includes a buffet lunch, tea and coffee. For more information, and to reserve tickets, please visit the church’s website, where a full brochure and booking form are available.
Where there’s a will…
…there’s a window. Richard Marks is preparing for the British Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi a study of medieval wills that include glazing bequests. He has already amassed several hundred, primarily from published sources, and is looking for any unpublished wills in which glazing is mentioned.
If you have any information, please email Professor Marks. Sometimes it is uncertain whether a bequest is to the stonework or the glass, but such references will also be of interest. Sources of information will be gratefully acknowledged.
Wenlok Jug Stolen from Stockwood Discovery Centre
A nationally significant bronze medieval jug has been stolen from a Bedfordshire museum [Fig. 1]. The Wenlok jug was taken from the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton at about 11pm on Saturday 12 May.
Director of Museums, Karen Perkins, called the theft ‘extremely serious and upsetting’. She said: ‘We are working extremely closely with police and investigators to do all we can to recover it. The Wenlok jug is a nationally significant medieval object. The jug is a very rare example of metalwork that can be associated with royalty from the 1400s. It is decorated with coats of arms and badges and is inscribed with the words “My Lord Wenlok”.’
In May 2005, the jug came up for sale at Sotheby’s and was nearly sold to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its export was stopped however in October that year by the then Culture Minister, David Lammy, after experts ruled it was of ‘outstanding significance’ for the study of bronze-working in medieval England. It is thought the jug was made for either William Wenlock, who died in 1391 and was a canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, or his great-nephew John, the 1st Lord Wenlock, a major figure in the fifteenth century who is commemorated in a post-Reformation stained-glass window in the parish church of St Mary at Luton.