THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
LOSTWITHIEL MUSEUM. This important example of medieval art was originally found in a field beside the St Austell Road to the east of Lostwithiel in 1894. It was rediscovered in 1994 in a roll top desk that was being sent to auction.
The gilded figure is of Christ crucified and may date to the late 12th century like a similar figure from Ludgvan now in the Royal Cornwall Museum. Made from copper alloy, in contrast to the pewter crucifix at Ludgvan, they were once nailed to painted wooden altar crosses. Both are now incomplete, both missing their right arms and with their left arms now hanging downwards rather than upwards. The Ludgvan example was hidden in the chancel wall. The small size and potentially early date of the Lostwithiel figure could suggest that it came from a private chapel possibly associated with the earls of Cornwall.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen