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   Undertoad  Monday Dec 27 12:53 PM

12/27/2004: Ancient British carving



IotD starts in the US where sometimes it's sad to live in a country without so much history.

Johnny Beeston, a stonemason, lived in the southwest of England where there is a tremendous amount of history. One day he stopped by a quarry and bought a bunch of stone to carve, and in the lot he found the above stone that someone had already been carving.

He thought it was interesting so he figured he'd keep it. His pet cat Winkle had just died, so he decided to use the stone to mark the grave.

Eventually Beeston died too, but a decade later, an amateur historian came across the grave marker and realized that it was a rare and important carving about 1000 years old. BBC says:

Quote:
Alexander Cader, of Sotheby's, said: "The relief is made from Oolithic limestone and is incredibly rare, as few reliefs of this period have survived, time normally having worn the surface detail away.

"The carving is believed to have originally been a section of a cross shaft, or part of a larger panel - the figure of St Peter is clearly visible. It is a rare survivor of English stone carving at its best and draws strong parallels to the 9th and 10th Centuries."

The lot was originally expected to sell for between 40,000 and 60,000, but a private collector eventually paid 175,000, plus buyer's premium - a total of 201,600.

The stonemason's family said his widow planned to spend money raised from the sale on her grandchildren and a new rocking chair.



chrisinhouston  Monday Dec 27 03:23 PM

Must have been one heck of a cat to get a marker like that one.



Undertoad  Monday Dec 27 03:43 PM

One of the stories noted that the historian, Chris Brewchorne, is building a new headstone for the cat!

His quote: "You do not find top-quality 11th-century stonework like this on top of a dead cat."



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 28 12:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinhouston
Must have been one heck of a cat to get a marker like that one.
I've had pussy worthy of that stone.
And some that should have had a headstone.


Colnago  Tuesday Dec 28 03:52 PM

IotD starts in the US where sometimes it's sad to live in a country without so much history.

No need for sadness. There is ample history predating European settlement of the new world.



lookout123  Tuesday Dec 28 04:07 PM

Quote:
His quote: "You do not find top-quality 11th-century stonework like this on top of a dead cat."
now let's just say for a moment that a cat-hating person, let's call him... lookout, let's just say he was holding an 11th century stonework and a cat happened to walk underneath said stonework... and lookout's hands suddenly got tired and let go of the stonework. that would be a case of finding a dead cat under 11th century stonework.

i'm just saying - it could happen.


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