A RARE PRE-REFORMATION ENGLISH 15TH CENTURY OAK SCULPTURE OF A CANDLE BEARING ANGEL . EAST ANGLIA. CIRCA 1450.
15th century English medieval carved oak figure of a candle-bearing angel, with remains of original polychrome. Carved fully in the round from two pieces of oak, joined at the figure's waist. The angel is depicted in flight, wearing an amice and billowing alb and holding a knopped candlestick in its extended right hand. This type of angel would have likely been positioned above the rood screen in a late medieval English parish church, as if illuminating the crucifixion. It may be that the wooden candlestick held by the angel was designed as a pricket on which a burning candle would have been placed during high holy days to illuminate the rood. This may account for some of the darkening to the figure.
The exaggerated, almost child-like facial features, over-sized hand, and stylised curls of hair are all typical features of late medieval English wood sculpture. The timber is heavy, coarse, and knotty, and of dark colour, which is also typical of the English oak used during the period.
Old losses to angel's left arm and upper portion of candle stick (possibly from ancient fire damage); some very old and inactive insect damage. Extensive remains of original medieval polychrome, including red and yellow (perhaps simulating gold) on the garments and flesh tones on the face and hands. The candle stick is painted a grey-ish tone, originally to simulate silver.
Provenance: ex. Frank Cowan collection.
stock no 1876.