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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ironwork, Room 114c

Cross

1869-71 (designed and made), (designed and made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This imposing cross, almost 3m high, was originally on the very top of the screen at Salisbury Cathedral which divided the chancel from the main part of the cathedral. The screen was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott and made by Francis Skidmore, as was the screen for Hereford Cathedral (1862) also in the V&A collection. Scott was appointed cathedral architect at Salisbury in about 1859 and oversaw restoration of the cathedral itself. The screen was designed in about 1869-70 and made in about 1870-71, but removed from the cathedral in 1959 and mostly sold to a metal dealer. The gates from the screen were acquired by the V&A in 1979 and are on display in the Ironwork gallery.

The cross comprises a wooden core overlaid with cast and wrought iron, and cast brass, decoration. The surface of the upright and arms are covered with cast panels featuring lozenge and heart shaped repeating patterns set within a 'beaded' border. The ends of both arms and the very top (front and back) of the cross, and the main intersection of horizontal and vertical, each feature a 'boss'. These comprise a circular element over a square element on top of a four-lobed element. Additional wrought iron decoration includes a series of curls along the front facing panels of the stepped base, and unusual leaves attached around the edges of the ends of the arms and top of the cross. The whole cross would originally have been very eye catching, painted bright red with its decoration highlighted in gold, and after investigation was carried out and evidence gathered, a restoration was completed 2015-16.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
iron, wrought and cast
Brief description
Ironwork cross from the chancel screen for Salisbury Cathedral, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and made by Francis Skidmore of Coventry in about 1869-70.
Physical description
Cross, of cast and wrought iron, decorated with cast panels featuring lozenge and heart shaped repeating patterns set within a 'beaded' border. The end of both arms and the very top (front and back), and the intersection, featuring a 'boss' comprising circular elements superimposed on a square element which is superimposed on a four-lobed 'quatrefoil' element. Additional wrought decoration applied including a series of curls along the front facing panels of the stepped base, and leaves attached around the edges of the ends of the arms and top of the cross.
Dimensions
  • Height: 276.5cm
  • Width: 133cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Salisbury Cathedral Chapter
Object history
This cross, almost 3m high, was originally on the very top of the screen at Salisbury Cathedral which divided the chancel from the main part of the cathedral. The screen was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and made by Francis Skidmore. Scott was appointed cathedral architect at Salisbury in about 1859. He surveyed the cathedral in 1862 and carried out much work there including strengthening the main tower, beginning in 1866. In 1869 restoration and refitting the choir and sanctuary were proposed as a memorial to Bishop Hamilton. The screen was designed by Scott in about 1869-70 and made by Skidmore in about 1870-71. It was removed from the cathedral in 1959 and mostly sold to a metal dealer. The gates from the screen were acquired by the V&A in 1979. The design for the screen (plan and elevation) is in the RIBA collection at the V&A. It is of pen on card watermarked J. Whatman 1874.
Association
Summary
This imposing cross, almost 3m high, was originally on the very top of the screen at Salisbury Cathedral which divided the chancel from the main part of the cathedral. The screen was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott and made by Francis Skidmore, as was the screen for Hereford Cathedral (1862) also in the V&A collection. Scott was appointed cathedral architect at Salisbury in about 1859 and oversaw restoration of the cathedral itself. The screen was designed in about 1869-70 and made in about 1870-71, but removed from the cathedral in 1959 and mostly sold to a metal dealer. The gates from the screen were acquired by the V&A in 1979 and are on display in the Ironwork gallery.



The cross comprises a wooden core overlaid with cast and wrought iron, and cast brass, decoration. The surface of the upright and arms are covered with cast panels featuring lozenge and heart shaped repeating patterns set within a 'beaded' border. The ends of both arms and the very top (front and back) of the cross, and the main intersection of horizontal and vertical, each feature a 'boss'. These comprise a circular element over a square element on top of a four-lobed element. Additional wrought iron decoration includes a series of curls along the front facing panels of the stepped base, and unusual leaves attached around the edges of the ends of the arms and top of the cross. The whole cross would originally have been very eye catching, painted bright red with its decoration highlighted in gold, and after investigation was carried out and evidence gathered, a restoration was completed 2015-16.
Associated objects
    Collection
    Accession number
    M.5-2015

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    Record createdOctober 3, 2014
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