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

Plate 9

Cross Head, Ripon, Yorkshire

10th Century


The broken cross head at Ripon is very simple, yet important purely because the figure of Sigurd is in the cross head with no Christian motif as a religious balance. The reverse is no help in this light, being filled only with interlace, as is the remaining arm tip. The upper arm is filled Ripon Crosswith a seated Sigurd sucking his thumb, his foot in the left cross-arm resting on the head of the dragon, with a domed head, gaping jaw and a deeply carved eye. The figure is realistically portrayed, although with few embellishments. He has no clothes or sword, but is well proportioned with fingers, an eye, and wears a helmet, although this is less conical than on other examples due to the lack of space. There was once another cross head of similar proportions and decorative style, but this was given to St.Wilfrid's in Blackpool before this example was found in the cathedral foundations in 1974. Drawings of this second cross head show two birds arranged around a central domed boss, with interlace on the reverse and arm tips. It is feasible to assume that these were a pair, but as to what great narrative scheme was Figure 5carved on the whole of the two crosses, only unsupported guesses can be made, which is a great pity.

Return to Chapter 4, Ref. Plate 5

Cross Head, Ripon, Yorkshire

Reproduced from the Art of the Manx Crosses with permission from the Manx Museum

 

 

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1990-1 Shona E McAndrew