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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Plastic images of John's head on a charger exist in media other than alabaster. Barbara Baert, "The Head of St. John the Baptist on a Platter: The Gaze of Death", _Ikon_ (Croatia) 4 (2011), 1-12, is a useful discussion, nicely illustrated, of such images in late medieval thought and practice. It's available on the free Web at academia.edu:
https://www.academia.edu/5334063/The_Head_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist_on_a_Platter._The_Gaze_of_Death_in_Ikon_4_Croatia_2011_p._1-12
TinyURL for that: 
http://tinyurl.com/qagzhhe

A partial answer to Rosemary's question about provenances occurs in the second paragraph of this discussion (also from 2011) of the late medieval English alabasters:
http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/archives/1academicnews/008214.shtml
Specimens of this craft were exported commercially in large numbers. Most of those that remained in England or went to Scotland will have been destroyed during the Reformation (or discarded then and destroyed later); most of those that one sees today in the V&A (and, presumably, in the Burrell Collection as well) returned to the UK with modern travelers who had acquired them abroad.

Beyond that, most of these images were created for private devotion. By the time these objects reached today's major museums their later owners will in many instances have had little or no knowledge of the specifics of their original use. The Louvre too has a collection of such alabasters and I suspect that its provenances for these are likewise largely uninformative.

Best,
John Dillon 

On 02/24/15, Genevra Kornbluth wrote:
> I've always assumed that the head alabasters were displayed in much the same way as other subjects, but will be most interested in other ideas!
> Here's another example
> http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/JohnBaptist.html
> row 5 no. 3
> Genevra
> 
> On 2/24/2015 6:26 AM, Rosemary Hayes-Milligan and Andrew Milligan wrote:
> >medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> >
> >Superb image and background description Gordon. The first time I saw Nottingham alabasters in any number was on my first visit to the Burrell collection in Glasgow - hugely frustrating because there is no provenance with any of the pieces. Is that typical? Do we just have the panels with
> >no indication of where and by whom they were originally used?
> >
> >Rosemary Hayes
> >----- Original Message ----- From: "Gordon Plumb" <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:47 AM
> >Subject: Re: [M-R] FEAST - A Celebration for the Day (February 24): the First and Second Finding(s) of the Head of St. John the Forerunner
> >
> >
> >medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> >
> >Only marginally relevant to this is the fact that the head of John the Baptist was a major subject of Nottingham
> >alabasters: Here is an example in the Castle Museum in Nottingham.:
> >
> >https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/16244647939
> >
> >Gordon Plumb
> >

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