Extraordinary example, lead 1 3/4” height. Thick section, the front with lineal relief detail, perhaps emulating tree bark (nota Corpus Christi), somewhat obscured by surface degradation. Rich glossy brown patina from the burial site, probably in peat.  Made for burial with plague victims of the first great plague of 1348-49. Known variously as Pestilence, the Great Mortality, the Great Plague, or the Black Death, it was a bubonic plague that was brought by sea from France. It killed a quarter of the population of London in two years, creating a shortage of burial space and manpower to perform the burials. Over the centuries, many English churchyards have been cleared of old burials to make space for new (the closer to the church entrance the burial, the greater the chance for eternal happiness) and these crosses are occasionally encountered. See the attached images from the Science Museum, London, and four related examples of 1348, from Grey Friars Monastery, Newgate Street, London (Wellcome Library, London).  This example is the largest and best we have seen.
Stock Number: A3276

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