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Fragment

Fragment

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clear glass with brown pigment and yellow (silver) stain

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. Grosvenor Thomas

  • Museum number:

    C.378-1915

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In contrast to traditional stained glass, which was coloured with metallic oxides when molten, this fragment was decorated using a new technique introduced in England in the early 14th century. This consisted of painting a compound of silver on the back of the glass. After firing in a kiln, the silver compound turned yellow. Many panels from the 14th and 15th centuries are decorated simply in yellow (silver) stain and highlighted with a brown-black pigment.

This fragment uses the new technique: clear glass was painted on the reverse with yellow stain and on the front with brown pigment. The thick coat of brown pigment was scratched through to reveal a double arched window set within a pointed arch. It would have formed part of the elaborate arcading that was common in 15th century English stained glass. Many windows in churches were filled with stained glass panels showing saints standing within a grand canopied framework.

The religious conflicts that affected the British Isles in the 16th and 17th centuries had a devastating effect upon the decorative arts and furnishings of the Christian church. Much of the medieval stained glass in churches and cathedrals was damaged and only survives in a fragmentary state.

Physical description

Fragment of clear glass painted with brown pigment and yellow (silver) stain. Depicting bits of architectural arcading. Painted with arcading; below, two small arches and an ogee panel within a larger painted arch; above, a trefoil stained yellow.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Clear glass with brown pigment and yellow (silver) stain

Historical context note

The religious conflicts that affected the British Isles in the 16th and 17th centuries had a devastating effect upon the decorative arts and furnishings of the Christian church. Much of the stained glass in churches and cathedrals was damaged and only survives in a fragmentary state.

This fragment is composed of clear glass painted on the reverse with yellow stain and on the front with brown pigment. The thick coat of brown pigment was scrached through to reveal a double arched window set within a pointed arch. It would have formed part of the elaborate arcading that was common in 15th century English stained glass. Many windows in churches were filled with stained glass panels showing saints standing within a grand canopied framework.

In contrast to traditional stained glass, which was coloured with metallic oxides when in a molten state, this fragment was decorated using a new technique introduced in England in the early 14th century. This consisted of painting a compound of silver on the back of the glass. After firing in a kiln, the silver compound turns yellow. Many panels from the 14th and 15th centuries are decorated simply in yellow (silver) stain and highlighted with a brown/black pigment.

Descriptive line

Fragment of clear glass painted with brown pigment and yellow (silver) stain. Depicting bits of architectural arcading. English, 15th century. Painted with arcading; below, two small arches and an ogee panel within a larger painted arch; above, a trefoil stained yellow.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Painting; Silver staining

Categories

Stained Glass; Religion; British Galleries

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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