Search:



Medieval sculpture rediscovered at The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology

Posted: 4pm 26 Oct 2018

In an effort to photograph and document the entire collection of The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology has discovered a gem suspected to be one of Queensland's most valuable pieces of mediaeval sculpture.

The 500-year-old carved limestone frieze, detailing the entombment of Christ, has been in a store room since it was given to the museum in 1992.

“It was wrapped in an old mattress. I couldn’t believe my eyes (when we unwrapped it),” senior curator Michael Strong says.

The only hint of what it was, was a black and white photograph that made it look as if it were in bad shape and not particularly interesting.

The Abbey museum team has been photographing the museum 's entire collection and felt it was time to unpack the item earlier this year for the first time.

“It’s a very, very important piece indeed.”

The frieze was part of Father John Ward’s collection of antiquities amassed from 1934-1940 and displayed at Abbey Folk Park, which closed in 1940 during WWII.

Abbey Folk Park never re-opened and pieces were sold off. The park was then purchased by a wealthy German whose daughter was married to film director Mike Figgis Turner.

Ultimately, Figgis Turner wanted the park turned into a film studio, with his prior knowledge of the other items from the John Ward collection making their way to Caboolture’s Abbey Museum, he arranged for this piece to also be sent there.

The piece is most likely from France or Belgium, damaged and separated from the whole sculpture during WWI and taken to Britain. “There’s no doubt it was part of a bigger piece,” Michael says.

He says that it would have been part of a rood screen, separating the nave from a mediaeval church's chancel, covered in elaborate carvings of Christ's life.

Michael hopes it will be on permanent display and it may even be loaned to other museums from time to time.

Visitors to the museum have already been seen sitting and gazing at it in deep reflection, something Michael is confident will happen more often.

“I think it’s something that will become a centre of modern pilgrimage. I think people will come to see it,” he says.

Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology

What: Displays spanning 500,000 years from the prehistoric age through to the end of the 19th century

Where: The Abbey Place, Caboolture.

Visit: abbeymuseum.com.au

Share

Trending

Good Egg Gallery cracks it

The Good Egg Gallery has cracked the formula for bringing local artists together in a welcoming space in just its first few weeks of operation.…

Work starts on Griffin Sports Complex

Moreton Bay is a step closer to becoming Queensland’s rugby league heartland, with the first sod turned at the $13.85 million Griffin Sports Complex this week.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   24-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Home stretch for track bid

Work on a synthetic running track at Deception Bay’s Zammit Oval could start within months with funding from the Federal and State Government’s locked in.…

Local News   •   23-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

$3 million win is ‘life-changing’

A Moreton Bay man can’t wait to “see the whole world” after today discovering he’s won a $3 million Saturday Gold Lotto prize.…

Local News   •   23-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Foodies' events on the move

Tastes of Moreton Bay – a six-week long celebration of local produce and cuisine – is coming back in 2021 along with the Moreton Bay Food and Wine Festival.…

Local News   •   23-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Exhibition gets personal

Moreton Bay Regional Council is lifting the lid on taboo items from over the decades at the It’s Personal exhibition on display at Pine Rivers Heritage Museum.…

Local News   •   22-2-2021  •   Jodie Powell

Easy way to have your say about Moreton Bay Region projects

Portal for community consultation launches in Moreton Bay Region…

Local News   •   19-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Moreton Island barge bid is moving ahead

A proposal to establish a pedestrian and vehicle barge service from the Redcliffe peninsula to Moreton Island (Mulgumpin) is setting sail.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close