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Fragment

Fragment

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    mid to late 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    clear glass painted with black/brown pigment and silver (yellow) stain

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. Grosvenor Thomas

  • Museum number:

    C.333-1915

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The panel depicted here is composed of stained glass fragments that are English and date between the 14th and 15th centuries. These fragments were gathered together in the late 19th or early 20th century by the collector Grosvenor Thomas. He donated over 100 different fragments of decorated glass to the Victoria & Albert Museum where they have been displayed in these 'composite' panels to illustrate techniques in Medieval window glass decoration.

England had a rich tradition of stained glass in the Middle Ages but much of it was destroyed by official government action or by iconoclastic fervour in the Reformation and Puritan periods. In the 18th century there was a new interest in medieval stained glass and by the following century much old glass was being imported from abroad or uncovered in excavations or from old storage locations in this country. Sadly, much of the old English stained glass only survives in a fragmentary state.

The fragment featured here depicts a crowned 'M', which refers to the Virgin Mary and refers to her being crowned 'Queen of Heaven' by her son, Jesus Christ. It also illustrates a technique of decorating glass that developed in the early part of the 14th century. It consisted of painting a compound of silver on the back of the glass which, after firing in a kiln, turned yellow and sank into the clear glass. Many panels from that period until 1500 are decorated simply in yellow (silver) stain and highlighted with a brown/black pigment, as shown here.

Physical description

Stained glass fragment, white glass with yellow stain and dark brown

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

mid to late 15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

clear glass painted with black/brown pigment and silver (yellow) stain

Dimensions

Height: 4.5 in, Width: 2.5 in, Height: 58.2 cm whole panel, unframed, Width: 41.6 cm whole panel, unframed

Object history note

Given from the Grosvenor Thomas collection

Descriptive line

Fragment of clear glass painted with black brown pigment and silver (yellow) stain, depicting a crowned letter 'M' on a dotted background. English, mid to late 15th century. Part of a composite panel of stained glass fragments, English, 14th to 15th centuries.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Painting; Staining

Subjects depicted

Crown

Categories

Stained Glass; Religion; British Galleries

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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