English ironwork from 1050-1550
Review by Bruce "Atli" Blackistone
I love books, but itís a rare day that I invest in such a pricey tome.
Still, the subject was right down my muddy medieval alley, and with over 600 photographs and drawings I figured that I would find it of at least some inspiration.
I was especially happy to be proven right, and it is now a valued inspiration and part of my reference library.
ABOVE: Ring plate with stamped work, great hall entrance, Bisham Abbey, Berkshire. 508mm across. Circa 1270-1300 (handle renewed).
LEFT: Fleurs-de-lis strap hinges on south door of All Saints Church, Lockinge, Oxfordshire. 1.14M X 2.21M. Late 15th to 16th century?
This is not a book for everybody, and given the price I would not suggest its acquisition as just an addition to a blacksmithís general reference library (unless the smith is really well heeled).
Secondly, the whole is almost entirely drawn from doors and chests in churches.
This is not a book of tools, weapons, armor or implements.
However, if you have a deep interest in, or specialize in medieval ironwork, and you are willing to give the book a careful reading, it is worth every cent of the price, for both inspiration and education.
Chest with stamped and cut work, Noyon Cathedral, France. 14th century?
I am already working on a chest for my daughter-in-law incorporating the decorative elements from a chest dated to the 12th century and then ďmodernizedĒ with fleurs-de-lis in (perhaps) the 15th century.
Medieval Decorative Ironwork in England
by Jane Geddes
© 1999 The Society of Antiquaries of London
Piccadilly, London W1V 0HS
ISBN 0 85431 273 0; ISSN 0953-7163; 411 pages; $125
Available through Norm Larson Books
5426 E. Hwy. 246
Lompoc, CA 93436