Objects | Art/Craft/Design


Calf Mould, 8th century AD

The Museum of Hartlepool, Tees Valley

Decorative Art and Design

600 – 1200

This mould is one of the rarest surviving objects in the North East directly relating to the production of the first books in the monasteries of Northumbria.

It was used to cast silver and gold decorative mounts (plaques) to be used as decoration on the covers of religious books.

Depicting a calf blowing a trumpet, this image is the symbol of St Luke the Evangelist, and exactly the same in design as those illustrated in other 8th century Christian books including the Lindisfarne Gospels

The mould is small, only 3cm in diameter, and is made from fired clay. It was discovered in 1984 during archaeological excavations at the site of the Anglo-Saxon Monastery in Hartlepool.

Currently on loan to the Lindisfarne Gospels Exhibition in Durham between 1st July and 30th September 2013.

Returning to its permanent display at The Museum of Hartlepool in October 2013 

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