Historic Impressions

Medieval Artifacts


Home | Product Categories | About Historic Impressions | How to contact us | FAQ | STORE



Le Mans Green Man

Le Mans Green Man

The green man, symbol of oneness with the earth, can be found in corners and crevices of cathedrals throughout Europe.  This classic example, c. 1240, is from Le Mans Cathedral in France.


6" x 5.5"
brown/green, grey/green



Viking Gargoyle

Viking Gargoyle

Animal heads like this 11th century carving can be found throughout Ireland and England and display the powerful artistic contribution of the Viking culture to these countries.  The animal depicted is most likely a wolf, now vanished from these regions, but at one time an important animal in Celtic-Norse iconography.


7.75" x 5"
greystone



Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida

These Classical Greek lovers were immortalized here by the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones for the 1896 edition of the Kelmscott Chaucer. Shakespeare also wrote a play about them as did Bocaccio. The work was published by William Morris, himself a noted designer of the time. The style and subject matter, like all work done by the Pre-Raphaelites, rejects the modern age and all it stands for and looks back with nostalgia to medieval times which were viewed as a purer age with people more honorable and objects and surroundings untouched by the ugliness of mechanization and industrialization.


6.75" x 5.25"
brown/green, blue/green



Dancing Maidens

Dancing Maidens

These merrily frolicking women are from a Burne-Jones engraving in the Kelmscott Chaucer and part of the Romance of the Rose tale, a most popular novel in medieval times.  The Kelmscott Chaucer was published by the famous designer William Morris.


7" x 5.5"
brown/rose/green, blue/mauve/green



Gathering Of The Beasts

Gathering Of The Beasts

This endearing little scene is taken from an engraving in a medieval French manuscript and depicts a peaceful meeting of animals under the stars including unicorn, stag and dog.


6" x 2.5"
antique brown, blue



Viking Hunter Cross

Viking Hunter Cross

Showing a hunter with his dogs and a stag, this 10th century cross is found in Middleton Church in the North Riding Forest of Yorkshire, England, where marauding Vikings reigned in the early medieval period. Although probably intended as a Christian statement, the style adopted, a wheel cross atop a shaft, echoes the symbol for the pagan Norse deity, Odin, which was a cross inside a circle. The stories of Christ and Odin were indeed similar and the two figures were sometimes used interchangeably. The hunter and stag can be seen as a metaphor for the Christian soul (the hunter) attempting to capture the stag (Christ).


9.25" x 3.25"
greystone



Beauvais Gargoyle

Beauvais Gargoyle

This French Gothic gargoyle, a legendary guardian against evil, is also partially transformed into vegetation like the Green Man, a symbol of oneness with the earth. It is carved on the Palais de Justice in Beauvais, France. Shape-shifting images like this also allude to the continuity and sameness of all life.


6" x 5.5"
greystone



Rocky Valley Labyrinth

Rocky Valley Labyrinth

This ancient design, known for thousands of years as a mystical symbol of the "maze of life" in many world cultures, was carved at an ancient Celtic site near Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, connected to Arthurian legend. The labyrinth itself, once dated to the Bronze Age, is now believed to have been carved somewhere from the 5th through the 17th century. There were Celtic settlements in the area who may have carved it in the earlier centuries, and in later centuries practitioners of ancient earth religions who are known to have used labyrinths in childbearing and for meditation.


9.5" x 8"
greystone



Christ at the last Supper

Christ at the Last Supper

A portion of a 12th century stone carving showing Christ holding the host and making the sign of peace. One of the apostles, St. John, the beloved of Christ, is depicted to the right.


5.5" x 4.5"
greystone



Tree of Life

Tree of Life

This tree is the centerpiece of the magnificent door of Kilpeck Church, England, which combines Celtic and Norse imagery.   The Tree of Life (which later became the Celtic cross itself) was a vertical path to heaven rooted here on earth.   The Norse Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, had three roots as does this one.   The Kilpeck tree also bears fruit, a symbol of nourishment.  Hanging from it are two lotus blossoms, an Eastern symbol of spiritual enlightenment often pictured with Buddha.   Thus all who entered through this portal were promised a bridge to heaven, nourishment for the soul and enlightenment of the spirit.


10.75" x 6.5"
colorized sandstone



Odin - God of Victory

Odin - God of Victory

Odin (Wodan) was the chief god of Viking-Teutonic warriors.   He gained supreme enlightenment by giving up an eye; and his breath, shown here as the wind, was the breath of life.   This 16th century carving is from Austria.


7.5" x 4"
greystone



Dog Biting Tail

Dog Biting Tail

This motif, a form of the ancient Celtic symbol for renewal and immortality, is taken from the 15th century MacMillan's Cross, located at Kilmory in Knapdale, Scotland near the banks of Loch Sween.  The more usual manifestation of this symbol is the snake biting its tail.  The cross is considered one the finest examples of West Highland sculpture and was dedicated to Alexander MacMillan, the chief of the clan.  The dog depicted here is probably a wolfhound, used by nobles for hunting and companionship.  The dog was itself a symbol of nobility as it was illegal for the common man to own certain types of dogs.


4.75" x 4.5"
greystone



Piping Pig Gargoyle

Piping Pig Gargoyle

Possibly the most famous pig in Scotland, this porcine bagpipe- player is from a 15th century reconstruction of Melrose Abbey, where the heart of Robert the Bruce is said to be buried.


7.75" x 4"
sandstone





Home | Product Categories | About Historic Impressions | How to contact us | FAQ | STORE



Copyright  Historic Impressions.  All rights reserved.
No part of this document or of any of our work may be reproduced in any form,
photographic, mechanical or otherwise, without written permission
from Historic Impressions.