Monday, July 3, 2023

Armorial Stained Glass in the Ely Cathedral Stained Glass Museum

On an upper floor in Ely Cathedral they have a Stained Glass Museum, which exhibits stained glass, old and new, armorial and non-armorial, but all colorful, lovely examples of the art. Indeed, if you get the chance to visit the Cathedral, the Stained Glass Museum alone is well worth the trip. (Don't get me wrong, so is the rest of the Cathedral. But there is plenty to see in the Museum!)

Our example today of armorial stained glass in the Museum is a newrt piece displaying some nearly 400 year old heraldry.

These are the arms of The Worshipful Company of Glaziers (the full name is The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass), one of the London livery companies. The Company was incorporated November 6, 1631 and granted a Royal charter in 1638. The Company's arms are blazoned Argent, two grozing irons in saltire between four closing nails sable on a chief gules a lion passant guardant or. The crest is: A lion's head couped or between a pair of wings azure. And their motto: Lucem tuam da nobis, O Deus (O God, give us Your light).

The charges on the shield are, of course, tools of the trade, with what might be termed a "chief of England" (after the model of the Italian "chief of the Empire" and "chief of Anjou").

The Stained Glass Museum in Ely Cathedral receives an annual grant from the Worshipful Company of Glaziers to help it continue its work. I have no doubt that these annual donations are the reason for this display of the Company's arms in the Museum.

Though the style of the glass is clearly modern, one of the aspects of it that really struck me was the upper portion of the pane and the shield, each of which give the impression of having been painted onto a panel made up of several jointed wooden boards. It is an unusual treatment that I have not seen before done in stained glass, and I found it very interesting. What do you think of this treatment in glass?

No comments:

Post a Comment