Stall End thumbnail 1
Stall End thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 10

Stall End

ca. 1419 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The wooden furniture and fittings of medieval English churches were frequently decorated with carvings of sacred and secular subjects taken from religious and folkloric traditions. The mantichore was a fabulous beast of ancient legend having a lion's body, human head and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved oak
Brief Description
Fragment of a bench-end with a mantichore
Physical Description
Fragment of a bench-end. Integral to the structure of the bench-end is a carved mantichore forming the elbow rest, with the bearded head (with missing section at back) of a man wearing a hood with scalloped lower edge, the haunches of a lion, and elongated lion paws extending down the front of the bench-end.
Dimensions
  • Height: 40.5cm
  • Width: 24cm
  • Depth: 5.9cm
  • Weight: 2.32kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Credit line
Given by the Architectural Association and the Royal Architectural Museum
Object history
One of a group of pieces, mostly fragmentary from the chancel and nave of St. Nicholas Chapel, King's Lynn.



Given by the Architectural Association and the Royal Architectural Museum, 18 Tufton Street. See RF 1915/4020

'To be labelled "From the Royal Architectural Museum, Westminster. Presented by the Architectural Museum"
Historical context
The Chapel of St. Nicholas, King's Lynn was founded by William Turbe, Bishop of Norwich, 1146-74, for the use of the inhabitants of the New Lande he had laid out for building north of the Purfleet. His chapel was pulled down and on its site was built a small chapel, the west end of which, probably dating from 1200-1210 remains. The present building was constructed in the early years of the fifteenth century and completed about 1419. Woodwork from St Nicholas, evidently part of the original fitted wooden furnishings, were sold by the churchwardens in 1852 and bought by the Royal Architectural Museum.
Subject depicted
Summary
The wooden furniture and fittings of medieval English churches were frequently decorated with carvings of sacred and secular subjects taken from religious and folkloric traditions. The mantichore was a fabulous beast of ancient legend having a lion's body, human head and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.
Bibliographic References
  • Charles Tracy, English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork (London, 1988), cat. no.163 'Stall or Bench-Ends, one of twenty-six, mostly fragmentary. From the chancel and nave of St Nicholas Chapel, King's Lynn. About 1419. Mus. Nos. W.2-1916 to W.11-1916; Mus. Nos. W.14, W.16 to W.18, W.20; W.56 to W.60-1921; Mus. Nos. Circ.26, Circ.36 to 39, Circ.41-1921. For the history of these carvings, see the misericords from St Nicholas, King’s Lynn (Mus. Nos. W.6-1921, W.9-1921, W. 10-1921, W.11-1921, W. 12-1921, W54-1921). Some of the fragments are recorded in the catalogue of the Royal Architectural Museum, Westminster, published in 1877 One of five portions of stall ends, (W.5-1916, W7-1916, W.8-1916, W9-1916, W.4-1916, W.10-1916) forming elbow-rests. From St Nicholas Chapel, King’s Lynn. A mantichora with a bearded head (PL. 60). Oak. About 1419 Presented by the Architectural Association 40.7 x 24.2 cm Mus. No. W.8-1916 See Catalogue of the Royal Architectural Museum, 1877, 53, No. 785.'
  • Charles Tracy, 'The former nave and choir oak furnishings and the west end and south porch doors, at the Chapel of St. Nicholas, King's Lynn', in King's Lynn and the Fens Medieval Art and Archaeology, BAA King's Lynn Conference Transactions XXXI (Leeds, 2008), pp. 28-52
Collection
Accession Number
W.8-1916

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record createdJune 2, 2004
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