Reproduction permits Gloucester Candlestick to go residence

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TWO exact replicas of the elaborate 12th century Gloucester Candlestick have been created using advanced scanning and 3D printing technology, so one can be displayed in its original home in Gloucester Cathedral.

V & A.The original Gloucester candle holder by V & A.

The original, considered one of the most important examples of Romanesque art in Europe, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Three Latin inscriptions on the stem date the piece between 1104 and 1113 when it was commissioned by Abbot Peter for St Peter & # 39; s Abbey in Gloucester. Its survival is believed to be important as such metalwork was traditionally melted down and reused.

It is not known when or why the piece left the cathedral – the abbey and its contents were destroyed by fire in 1122 – but it eventually ended up in the treasury of Le Mans Cathedral in France. It came to the V&A in 1861.

Canon Celia Thomson, who led the restoration project, said on Wednesday: “Since seeing the Gloucester Candlestick in all its glory at the V&A, I've longed for it to return to the place it was created for. Modern technology has made this possible, and I am deeply grateful to all who have helped recreate this masterpiece of Romanesque art in all of its wondrous details. "

The original metal is mainly bronze with a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron and antimony, and arsenic and silver in the sump. Winged dragons aid in this, monkeys climb along the stem, and hybrid animals bite, grab, and pull to position themselves among foliage and flowers along the base. The symbols of the four evangelists are on the button (the decorative swell in the middle of the stem).

The replicas were made by the Gloucestershire Engineering Company Renishaw. They were molded with aluminum powder over several days, worked by hand, and applied to the surface of each piece with a golden patina in a foundry in Stroud.

Cathedral archivist Rebecca Phillips said Tuesday: “The project has strengthened existing relationships, established new partnerships and brought us into contact with new technologies. We hope that when the candlestick is exhibited in 2021, it will enable our visitors to reconnect with the devotion felt by the Gloucester monks over 900 years ago. "

Depending on visitor safety guidelines, the second replica is planned to be kept in the Tribune Gallery chapel from early to mid-2021. Both replicas can be viewed online on the Gloucester History Festival 2020 website in the City Voices section. Call times and dates will be published shortly.

The project, which was carried out prior to Covid-19, is expected to cost £ 27,000 once completed, funded primarily by donations: the replicas were donated by Renishaw, the scanning and patination by personal donations, and the remaining costs by Pangolin Laser Systems. More than £ 3,000 has been raised by the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral and an additional £ 11,000 is to be raised through grant applications to pay for the display, lighting, and online and visitor engagement.

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