Episcopal or abbey crosier in limestone inspired by a Limoges crosier around 1300.
This rare representation carved in a block of limestone of a crozier certainly came from a recumbent bishop or abbot or a statue of saint.
The center of the volute is decorated with a scene of the Annunciation, the Angel facing the Virgin Mary. This one is certainly inspired by a limousine crosier of copper and enamel, of which several copies are still preserved, for instance in the Louvre (our picture), at the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, or formerly at the Palace of the Evêché in Limoges. It may be noted that an abbot's crosier with the Annunciation was discovered in the enclosure of the Saint-Florent Abbey of Saumur in the twentieth century. The production period for these Limoges crosiers is 1250-1300.
The volute ends with a vegetal pattern of palmetto with three leaves, as it is the case also on certain Limoges crosiers. The back of the volute is decorated with small drops, imitating mounted stones. The node is decorated with a partially faded leaf frieze.
In carved representations of bishops or abbots, it is the apparel of the time that is represented. Thus a saint bishop carved in the fifteenth century will be represented with a crosier of the fifteenth century.Therefore there are good reasons to think that our crosier dates around 1300, at the time when the limousine Annonciation crosiers were still in circulation, especially since the crosiers were usually personal items that religious often took away in their grave.
In one limestone bloc, this piece suffered several breaks that required a re-attachment, without completion of the sculpture. Among the gaps, the wings of the angel that certainly connected the latter to the volute.
Former French collection.
Height: 43 cm
Width: 19 cm
Mounted on a wooden base covered with worn velvet. Total height: 54 cm
Price : on request
Price : on request