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Bernward's Candlesticks (pair)

German (Hildesheim)

Not on view

These rare and precious candlesticks are perhaps the most important to survive from the Middle Ages. Masterpieces of casting, they are lavishly decorated with a variety of motifs, including abundant foliage, nude men riding dragons, and figures climbing the vine-covered shaft or eating grapes, which might allude to the Eucharist. Both candlesticks bear the following enigmatic inscription in Latin: “Bishop Bernward ordered his servant to cast this candlestick in the first flowering of this art, not from gold or silver but nevertheless as you
see it here.”

Bernward's Candlesticks (pair), Silver with gilding and niello; iron core, German (Hildesheim)

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