Loose stone 7. Cushion capital

Image of the feature "Loose Sculpture: Stones stored in the treasury undercroft" at Chester.

by Ron Baxter.

1. Nook-shaft capital carved with oxen. A double-scallop capital, carve on two faces. The shields are recessed, each carved with a fanned multi-lobed leaf radiating from top centre. The bell is not scalloped, but each face has a semicircular field bounded by a grooved roll, and containing an ox standing in profile with head frontal, as if grazing. The two beasts are confronted. Between them, on the angle, is a large palmette with fluted lobes. The necking is a roll where it survives.

2. Section of string course (as IV.5.b.(i), bay 2). The section contains three units of the decoration described above.

3. Angle of impost block. In red sandstone, and presumably from the choir aisle wall arcade. It is carved with an angle mask with curving tusks to either side, which transform into foliage.

4. Curved red sandstone voussoir with chamfered face. The face is carved in low relief with a design of nested lozenges, parts of three units in all.

5. Stiff-leaf nook-shaft capital of red sandstone. The capital has a broken roll necking and abacus, and a bell, slender at the bottom, flaring out towards the top. It is generally eroded, but signs of stems and leaves suggest a stiff-leaf design.

6. Annulet or double cushion capital, red sandstone. In form two small square cushion capitals, each carved on two faces only, with one inverted on top of the other, but carved from a single block. As photographed the upper has vertical rolls at each angle and in the centre of each face of the bell, while the lower is plain. Each has a roll necking. It seems an unlikely method of carving capitals, and may have served as an annulet.

7. Small cushion capital in red sandstone. The capital is carved on all four faces, and has angle tucks at two adjacent angles and a roll necking.


Stone 1:
capital dimensions at top 0.64 m x 0.42 m
h of block 0.31 m
Stone 4:
d of block 0.25 m
h of block 0.14 m
w at extrados 0.42 m
w at intrados 0.385 m
Stone 7:
dimensions at top 0.22 m x 0.22 m
h of block 0.18 m
Stone 6:
h of block 0.27 m
max w 0.18 m x 0.19 m
Stone 2:
d of block 0.48 m
h of block 0.20 m
w of block 0.59 m
Stone 3:
h of block 0.185 m
max w (L face) 0.19 m
max w (R face) 0.18 m
Stone 5:
capital dimensions at top 0.38 m x 0.25 m
h of block 0.29 m