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Model For A Rood Screen (England)

This is a Model for a Rood Screen. It is dated 1530-50 and we acquired it in 2014. Its medium is carved, gilt and polychrome (traces) oak, wrought iron. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This unusual object appears to be a model for ecclesiastical woodwork. Small scale models, such as this, could have been made to present a design for an important commission to the client. It is stylistically similar to late Gothic English rood screens that date from the first half of the sixteenth century. Rood screens are ornate partitions between the chancel and nave (and therefore between the clergy and the people) and were a prominent feature in late medieval church architecture. The rood screen would have supported a loft carrying the rood, a sculptural depiction of the crucifixion. The screens were often elaborately carved and painted, heightening the sensation of magnificence within the sacred apace.

Medieval woodwork was one of the most significant legacies of English craft history. The middle ages produced enormous quantities of woodwork. Churches, with their pews, rood screens and other fixtures, provided craftspeople with a steady stream of work. Parishes competed with one another to make their church the most resplendent.

The model’s reticulated tracery is of the flamboyant type first seen in England in the fourteenth century and developed in France in the fifteenth century. Particularly notable are the curvilinear S-shaped tracery, flame-like ogee arches, and curiously patterned shafts which resemble extant screens found in Oxfordshire.

This object was donated by Eugene V. Thaw and Clare E. Thaw. It is credited Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 72.4 x 33.7 x 21.6 cm (28 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 8 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Model For A Rood Screen (England); carved, gilt and polychrome (traces) oak, wrought iron; H x W x D: 72.4 x 33.7 x 21.6 cm (28 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 8 1/2 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2014-39-3

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Model For A Rood Screen (England) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>