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Crown

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1863 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel gilt, gilt metal set with paste gems

  • Museum number:

    8362-1863

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 4B

The crown is a symbol of virtue and martyrdom as well as an emblem of sovereignty. This crown was made for a statue of the Virgin Mary, to remind worshipers of her coronation by Jesus Christ and her high status as ‘Queen of Heaven’.

Physical description

Crown for a statue of the Virgin. Silver, parcel-gilt, gilt metal, set with paste gems.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

ca. 1863 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel gilt, gilt metal set with paste gems

Dimensions

Height: 2.75 in, Diameter: 7.25 in

Object history note

This crown was bought for the Museum for £12 12s in 1863.
The crown is an emblem of sovereignty as well as a symbol of virtue and martyrdom. Statues of the Virgin Mary were crowned to remind worshipers of her coronation by Jesus Christ and her high status as "Queen of Heaven".

Historical context note

The Gothic Revival
In the Victorian period a dramatic and profound change took place in religious life. Centred on a renewed interest in the Middle Ages, it affected the appearance of churches and how services were conducted. The influential architect A.W.N. Pugin promoted the Gothic as the true Christian style. Although Pugin was Catholic, his theory appealed to Anglicans of the Oxford Movement - radicals who hoped to restore pre-Reformation services to the Church of England.

The Cambridge Camden Society, founded in 1839, studied the past to identify the medieval architecture and furnishings that would be appropriate for the revived services. The society became an arbiter of style, offering an Anglicised version of the Gothic. By the 1870s some of the equipment normally found in Catholic worship, such as the ciborium, was appearing in Anglican churches.

It was not universally welcomed. Some observers found the incense, the altar cross and the emphasis on ritual scandalously 'Popish' or 'high church'.

The Gothic Revival in Europe
The Gothic revival in Europe owed more to nationalism than religious zeal. The completion of Cologne's medieval cathedral was an affirmation of German culture. In the Habsburg empire, Czechs and Hungarians similarly expressed national pride through Gothic architecture.

Champions of the Gothic claimed by the 1850s that the style was triumphant in Europe. But classical architecture remained a serious rival, even in church building. Much of the most important Gothic work was in church restoration. In Germany and France, goldsmiths like Franz Xaver Hellner supplied Gothic church furnishings.

Descriptive line

Gilt metal crown set with paste gems; Germany, ca. 1863.

Labels and date

Crown for a Statue of the Virgin

The crown is a symbol of virtue and martyrdom as well as an emblem of sovereignty. This crown was made for a statue of the Virgin Mary, to remind worshipers of her coronation by Jesus Christ and her high status as 'Queen of Heaven'.

Germany, about 1863
Silver, partly gilded, with gilt metal and paste
gems
Museum no. 8362-1863 [22/11/2005]
'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

This crown was purchased for £12.12s in 1863. [1987-2006]

Materials

Silver; Metal; Paste gems

Techniques

Parcel gilding

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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