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Title Synopsis Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Bibliography Catalogue Appendix

Plate 10

Cross Shaft, Nunburnholme, Yorkshire

Mid 11th Century

Nunburnholme Shaft Figure 6



This example showing Sigurd sucking his thumb is a crude addition on the Nunburnholme cross shaft in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Two snail figures have been cut in on the lower half of a detailed portrait of a priest carrying a chalice, so that the feet of the priest poke out and separate the crudely carved human-like figures. While both are the same size and crouch facing each other, the one on the left is better preserved, and seems to be raising something in his hard, possibly his thumb, to his mouth. In his other hand he may be holding a ring similar to those on the spit in other Sigurd examples. Opposite him, across a rectangular block, is the other figure, over which there is confusion. The head is eroded and confused by the remains of the priest's robes and it may either be that there is no head at all, and hence the figure becomes another headless Regin, or that the body has a zoomorphic head. This complicates the matter, for the identification could vary. It could be seen as a devil, but as J. Lang points out, Regin having an animal head "while not corroborated by literary sources, is not to be unexpected in one whose brothers take on the forms of otter and dragon."

Return to Chapter 3, Ref. Plate 1
Cross Shaft, Nunburnholme, Yorkshire

 

 

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