Tuesday, 29 November 2011

An Old Face


A lovely little medieval face carved into the wall of Norwich Castle keep. I wonder how old this is? Aside from the style, I think that the tooling marks might offer some idea as to maximum age. Any ideas? 

9 comments:

  1. I love the rather sorrowful eyes, yet smiley mouth. What is it about the tooling marks that help with determining the actual age?

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  2. This face would have been done (obviously) after the tooling marks. I would say it is 883 years old.

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  3. Sir, may I be so bold as to suggest this chiseled fizog is that of the mysterious contribution secretary? Clearly you cannot say ye or nay as, like all in the learned society, I surmise you have not seen the true creature.
    As to the age of the chiselling, I would estimate last week.
    The tell tale signs of a B and Q electrical rotary tool, £29.99 special offer this week only, is very obvious.
    Your new fangled illumination tool has indeed brought this piece of graffiti to life. I commend you Sir. Huzzah. Oh, and one more, Huzzah!

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  4. Dear Jennifer,

    Yes, there is something very enigmatic about the contrasting emotions in eyes and mouth which you note.

    Tooling marks? Generally, the Norman masons used tools which left quite deep and irregular scouring in the dressed limestone. However, this ashlar (worked stone) is quite 'clean'. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say Fifteenth century - but I'm not certain by any means.

    I am quite sure, however, that the image is pre-Reformation.

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  5. Dear Tom,

    My colleague Mr. Many Coats , is absolutely adamant (Adam Ant) that this carving is 887 years, 3 months, 16 days, and... 22 hours old...

    Huzzah!

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  6. Dear Thad,

    You believe that this may be an image of Madame Contributions Secretary! We have no way of knowing...

    However, you are correct as to the quality of the illumination. Those L.E.D. lights certainly do the job!

    Huzzah!

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  7. As a practicing stone carver of 612 years, 4 months, 26 days and 11 hours, thirty two minutes and 16 seconds, 17 seconds, 18 seconds 19 seconds 20 seconds, 21 seconds, 22 seconds, 23 seconds, 24 seconds, 25 seconds - give or take 580 years - I can honestly say that I believe this carving to pre-date any B & Q device known to Adam Ant.

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  8. I have talked to the face and he assures me that he is not a day over 572. It is however my experience that most stone faces are liars and not to be trusted.

    On another matter has anyone noticed his shiny nose. I think it's likely it has been rubbed many times - perhaps for good luck. I also think he is indeed a sorrowful looking chap and maybe a representation of Jesus. There was afterall a local Norfolk Jesus cult prevelant in late Medival Norfolk.

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  9. My earlier estimation of 887 years is also not to be trusted. A rash statement said only in a vain attempt to woo Madam Contributions Secretary who is known for being hot for facts

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