The ceramic galleries were marvelous but this three foot candlestick is actually what I went to find. You see it is in the book “A Children’s Story” by A S Byatt, I wrote about it a few months ago. The story begins with one of the characters in the West Kensington Museum (now called the Victoria and Albert Museum) drawing this very candlestick. He is an apprentice potter who has run away form the potteries and is living in the museum as a stowaway. He is captivated by this piece and all the faces and creatures and wants to make it in clay, so he draws it. And here it is on display in the Renaissance exhibition. Made between 1104 -13, it was commissioned by Abbot Peter and the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, now Gloucester Cathedral and was probably for use on an alter. One of the inscriptions calls the candlestick a work of virtue and light and darkness.
And also, for your delight, a couple of close-up photographs of the bosses on a huge crucifix. Tiny enameled owls of no more than three centimeters, they will definitely end up on one of my pots! Have a look at Hannah McAndrews owl plate here, its gorgeous.