Bank Hall is a Jacobean mansion in Bretherton, England. It is at the centre of a private estate, surrounded by parkland; the hall was built on the site of an older house in 1608 by the Banastres who were lords of the manor. The hall was extended during the 19th centuries. Extensions were built for George Anthony Legh Keck in 1832–1833, to the design of the architect George Webster. Legh Keck died in 1860 and the estates passed to Thomas Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford; the contents were auctioned in 1861 and the hall used as a holiday home and leased to tenants. During the Second World War the Royal Engineers used it as a control centre. After the war the estate was returned to the Lilfords whose estate offices moved to the east wing of the house until 1972 when the house was vacated; the building was used as a location for the 1969 film The Haunted House of Horror. The house was vandalised causing rapid deterioration. In 1995 the Bank Hall Action Group was formed to raise public awareness, collect funds, host events, clear the overgrown grounds.
In 2003 Bank Hall was the first building to be featured in the BBC's Restoration television series. Since 2006 the action group and Urban Splash have planned to restore the house as apartments retaining the gardens, entrance hall and clock tower for public access and the Heritage Trust for the North West plans to renovate the potting sheds and walled gardens. For centuries Bank Hall was the manorial home of a branch of the Banastres, lords of the manor descended from the Norman Robert de Banastre, who built a motte and bailey castle at Prestatyn in about 1164. In 1167 the Banastres fled when Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, destroyed the castle and the family escaped to Cheshire and Lancashire. In 1315 Sir Adam Banastre, who had extensive landholdings elsewhere in the county, led the Banastre Rebellion against Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, was summarily beheaded at Charnock Richard when the rebellion failed. A structure from the time of Elizabeth I is recorded on Christopher Saxton's map from 1579.
In 1608 the Banastres demolished the old building. The hall was constructed to a Jacobean style, rectangular in plan with two rooms to the east, a room and staircase to the west and a grand hall in the centre containing a screen and fireplace, it is possible that there may have been a timber structure where the east wing stands and other wooden wings that were replaced as the house was extended. Recorded in the 1666 Hearth tax, of the 99 hearths in Bretherton, Bank Hall had 12; the last of the Banastres, Christopher, High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1670, died in 1690 leaving two daughters. The property was inherited by Anne who married Thomas Fleetwood, he planned to drain the surrounding marsh lands. He made the first unsuccessful attempt to drain Martin Mere in 1692. In 1714 the channel was improved and floodgates kept back the high tides, their daughter, Henrietta Maria, married Thomas Legh of Lyme Park and the estate passed to the Leghs. In 1719 Henrietta Maria Legh donated land on, Tarleton. George Anthony Legh Keck moved from Stoughton Grange in Leicestershire on inheriting the estate.
He was the last resident owner and commissioned a Kendal architect, George Webster, to extend the hall in 1832–1833. Legh Keck collected birds and horns from animal from around the world, he owned a collection of classical style statuettes and casts of figures by the sculptor Antonio Canova. In April 1861, a year after Legh Keck's death, the hall's contents were sold at auction. A catalogue lists the items by room; the house and estate passed to his brother-in-law, Thomas Littleton Powys, fourth Baron Lilford, whose family seat was Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire. Bank Hall was used as a holiday home by the Lilfords until 1899; the estate remains part of the Lilford Estates and is managed by a land agent, Acland Bracewell in Tarleton. However, in 2017 the hall and gardens and adjoining orchard were signed over to the Heritage Trust for the North West on a 999 year lease so that restoration work could begin; the colliery owner Edward Crippen was resident in 1891 until his death in February 1892.
In 1899 Sir Harcourt Everard Clare, clerk to Lancashire County Council, moved to the hall with his family and hosted garden parties in the grounds. The cricketer Ranjit Singh visited him during the 1920s. King George V whilst visiting Lancashire in 1913 stopped at the lodge to greet the Clares and their staff. Cotton mill owner, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Norman Seddon-Brown and his family lived at the hall from the late 1920s until 1938, when they moved to Escowbeck; the Aga Khan III is thought to have visited the hall during this time. During the Second World War the Royal Engineers were billetted at Bank Hall; the north east wing, a service wing, housed a boiler-house, laundry and cheese rooms, mangle room, brew house and wash house around a central courtyard was demolished. The 1928 Ordnance Survey map shows three buildings in the walled garden. A pond was constructed in a concrete drive installed; the army constructed Nissen huts in the gardens and parkland, the remains of some are still visible.
After the war the estate was returned to the Lilfords who had an estate office in the east wing until 1972. In 1974 a planning application was submitted to convert the house and grounds into a country club but the application was declined due to the disturbance to the historic parkland and architecture. In 1991 an application for listed building consent to demolish parts of the building to make it safe was submitted but was withdrawn. Bank Hall, built in the Jacobean style in 1608, is a brick built mansion of three storeys
The arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines combined with other elements. Another definition is "Foliate ornament, used in the Islamic world using leaves, derived from stylised half-palmettes, which were combined with spiralling stems", it consists of a single design which can be'tiled' or seamlessly repeated as many times as desired. Within the wide range of Eurasian decorative art that includes motifs matching this basic definition, the term "arabesque" is used as a technical term by art historians to describe only elements of the decoration found in two phases: Islamic art from about the 9th century onwards, European decorative art from the Renaissance onwards. Interlace and scroll decoration are terms used for most other types of similar patterns. Arabesques are a fundamental element of Islamic art but they develop what was a long tradition by the coming of Islam.
The past and current usage of the term in respect of European art can only be described as confused and inconsistent. Some Western arabesques derive from Islamic art, but others are based on ancient Roman decorations. In the West they are found in the decorative arts, but because of the non-figurative nature of Islamic art, arabesque decoration is there a prominent element in the most significant works, plays a large part in the decoration of architecture. Claims are made regarding the theological significance of the arabesque, its origin in a Islamic view of the world. At the popular level such theories appear uninformed as to the wider context of the arabesque. In similar fashion, proposed connections between the arabesque and Arabic knowledge of geometry remains a subject of debate; the case for a connection with Islamic mathematics is much stronger for the development of the geometric patterns with which arabesques are combined in art. Geometric decoration uses patterns that are made up of straight lines and regular angles that somewhat resemble curvilinear arabesque patterns.
Arabesque is a French term that derived from the Italian word Arabesco, it means Arabic style. The development of this and related terms in the main European languages is complicated, described in "Western arabesque" below; the arabesque developed out of the long-established traditions of plant-based scroll ornament in the cultures taken over by the early Islamic conquests. Early Islamic art, for example in the famous 8th century mosaics of the Great Mosque of Damascus contained plant-scroll patterns, in that case by Byzantine artists in their usual style; the plants most used are stylized versions of the acanthus, with its emphasis on leafy forms, the vine, with an equal emphasis on twining stems. The evolution of these forms into a distinctive Islamic type was complete by the 11th century, having begun in the 8th or 9th century in works like the Mshatta Facade. In the process of development the plant forms stylized; the abundant survivals of stucco reliefs from the walls of palaces in Abbasid Samarra, the Islamic capital between 836 and 892, provide examples of three styles, Styles A, B, C, though more than one of these may appear on the same wall, their chronological sequence is not certain.
Though the broad outline of the process is agreed, there is a considerable diversity of views held by specialist scholars on detailed issues concerning the development and meaning of the arabesque. The detailed study of Islamic arabesque forms was begun by Alois Riegl in his formalist study Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik of 1893, who in the process developed his influential concept of the Kunstwollen. Riegl traced formalistic continuity and development in decorative plant forms from ancient Egyptian art and other ancient Near Eastern civilizations through the classical world to the Islamic arabesque. While the Kunstwollen has few followers today, his basic analysis of the development of forms has been confirmed and refined by the wider corpus of examples known today. Jessica Rawson has extended the analysis to cover Chinese art, which Riegl did not cover, tracing many elements of Chinese decoration back to the same tradition. Many arabesque patterns disappear at a framing edge without ending, thus can be regarded as infinitely extendable outside the space they occupy.
Most but not all foliage decoration in the preceding cultures terminated at the edge of the occupied space, although infinitely repeatable patterns in foliage are common in the modern world in wallpaper and textiles. In earlier forms there is no attempt at realism. "Leaf" forms spr
Beverley Minster in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, is a parish church in the Church of England. It is one of the largest parish churches in the UK, larger than one-third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece by many. A collegiate church, it was not selected as a bishop's seat during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it is part of a Grade I listed building. Every year it hosts events in association with local schools, including the Beverley Minster Primary School Nativity Performance and the Beverley Grammar School Speech Night; the Minster owes its origin and much of its subsequent importance to Saint John of Beverley, Bishop of York, who founded a monastery locally c. 700 and whose remains still lie in a vault beneath the nave. Archaeological excavations in 1979–82 confirmed that a major church stood on or near the present Minster site from c. 700 to c. 850. That last date could support a tradition of the sacking of the monastery by Vikings. Another tradition attributes to King Athelstan the refoundation of the monastery as a collegiate church of secular canons.
The establishment of a major minster and its privileges was more a gradual process, but by the early 11th century Bishop John's tomb had become a major pilgrimage center. He was canonized in 1037, his cult encouraged the growth of a town around the Minster; the Archbishops of York, the lords of Beverley throughout the Middle Ages, secured grants for four annual fairs which enhanced the town's trading role. From the 12th century Beverley was a major exporter of wool to the Low Countries. A 12th century charter indicates substantial rebuilding work following the canonisation of St John of Beverley in 1037. Archbishop Kynesige added a high stone tower, he installed a painted and gilded ceiling from the presbytery to the tower. Nothing remains of this Anglo-Saxon church, no records of building work under the Normans survive. However, large quantities of Norman masonry have been found in excavations throughout the town, four large arches built behind the nave triforium during the 14th century are composed of reused Norman voussoirs.
In 1067/68 Gamel, Sheriff of York was informed in a writ by William the Conqueror that Archbishop Ealdred should draw up a privilegium for the lands belonging to the church of St John of Beverley and that they shall be free from the demands of the king, his reeves, all his men, except for those of the archbishop and priests of the church. Saint Thomas Becket of Canterbury was named Provost of Beverley in 1154. A fire in 1188 damaged the Minster and the town. Much of the church was damaged, complete rebuilding was required. Money was collected for the work and reconstruction began at the east end soon after the fire. During the construction, a new lantern tower over the eastern crossing designed to illuminate the Shrine of St John was under construction, but it collapsed c. 1219 necessitating a partial rebuild of the church. Henry III granted 40 oaks from Sherwood Forest in 1252, by c. 1260 the retrochoir, chapter house and crossing were complete. Filled with light, overwhelmingly tall and spacious, speaking to the increasing skills of the stonecarvers, this new work was radically different from the old Saxon and Norman structure it replaced.
It was the product of the novel structural systems and artistic development that together define the Gothic style, originating in France and brought to England in the late 12th century. Work did not progress beyond the first bay of the nave. Of this Early Gothic building campaign, only the chapter house has been lost, although its wonderful staircase survives in the north choir aisle; the only major alteration was the insertion of a great Perpendicular east window, for which money was bequeathed in 1416. A new shrine for St John was ordered from Roger de Faringdon of London in 1292, to which the saint's remains were translated on 25 October 1307. Collections for further rebuilding were resumed in 1308, work on the nave had begun by 1311; the architectural style current in England had developed into something much different from the Early Gothic displayed in the first part of the rebuilding. More structurally daring, more richly decorated forms merge with the earlier, simpler forms in the nave of Beverley Minster, in an effort both to respect the older work and to bring it up to date.
Building on the nave was ongoing in 1334, may have been halted by the Black Death in 1348 as in many other instances across England. Work did not resume until in the century, when the nave was completed and the west front with its two great towers was built, c. 1400. These towers are a superlative example of the Perpendicular style, formed the inspiration for the present west towers of Westminster Abbey, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. By the early 15th century, with the building of the north porch, the Minster was structurally complete; the great east window, a chapel funded by the Percys, the choir stalls were the only major work. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, was buried in the church after being murdered by his own retainers at Cockslodge near Thirsk, in 1489 during the Yorkshire rebellion over high taxes imposed by King Henry VII. In 1548, the Minster was reduced to the status of a parish church, the college of secular canons established before the Norman Conq
Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester. Other major towns include Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Runcorn and Winsford The county covers 905 square miles and has a population of around 1 million, it is rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. Cheshire's name was derived from an early name for Chester, was first recorded as Legeceasterscir in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, meaning "the shire of the city of legions". Although the name first appears in 980, it is thought that the county was created by Edward the Elder around 920. In the Domesday Book, Chester was recorded as having the name Cestrescir, derived from the name for Chester at the time. A series of changes that occurred as English itself changed, together with some simplifications and elision, resulted in the name Cheshire, as it occurs today.
Because of the close links with the land bordering Cheshire to the west, which became modern Wales, there is a history of interaction between Cheshire and North Wales. The Domesday Book records Cheshire as having two complete Hundreds that became the principal part of Flintshire. Additionally, another large portion of the Duddestan Hundred became known as Maelor Saesneg when it was transferred to North Wales. For this and other reasons, the Welsh language name for Cheshire is sometimes used. After the Norman conquest of 1066 by William I, dissent and resistance continued for many years after the invasion. In 1069 local resistance in Cheshire was put down using draconian measures as part of the Harrying of the North; the ferocity of the campaign against the English populace was enough to end all future resistance. Examples were made of major landowners such as Earl Edwin of Mercia, their properties confiscated and redistributed amongst Norman barons. William I made Cheshire a county palatine and gave Gerbod the Fleming the new title of Earl of Chester.
When Gerbod returned to Normandy in about 1070, the king used his absence to declare the earldom forfeit and gave the title to Hugh d'Avranches. Because of Cheshire's strategic location on Welsh Marches, the Earl had complete autonomous powers to rule on behalf of the king in the county palatine; the earldom was sufficiently independent from the kingdom of England that the 13th-century Magna Carta did not apply to the shire of Chester, so the earl wrote up his own Chester Charter at the petition of his barons. Cheshire in the Domesday Book is recorded as a much larger county, it included two hundreds and Exestan, that became part of North Wales. At the time of the Domesday Book, it included as part of Duddestan Hundred the area of land known as English Maelor in Wales; the area between the Mersey and Ribble formed part of the returns for Cheshire. Although this has been interpreted to mean that at that time south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, more exhaustive research indicates that the boundary between Cheshire and what was to become Lancashire remained the River Mersey.
With minor variations in spelling across sources, the complete list of hundreds of Cheshire at this time are: Atiscross, Chester, Exestan, Middlewich, Roelau, Tunendune and Wilaveston. Feudal baronies or baronies by tenure were granted by the Earl as forms of feudal land tenure within the palatinate in a similar way to which the king granted English feudal baronies within England proper. An example is the barony of Halton. One of Hugh d'Avranche's barons has been identified as Robert Nicholls, Baron of Halton and Montebourg. In 1182 the land north of the Mersey became administered as part of the new county of Lancashire, thus resolving any uncertainty about the county in which the land "Inter Ripam et Mersam" was. Over the years, the ten hundreds consolidated and changed names to leave just seven—Broxton, Eddisbury, Nantwich and Wirral. In 1397 the county had lands in the march of Wales added to its territory, was promoted to the rank of principality; this was because of the support the men of the county had given to King Richard II, in particular by his standing armed force of about 500 men called the "Cheshire Guard".
As a result, the King's title was changed to "King of England and France, Lord of Ireland, Prince of Chester". No other English county has been honoured in this way, although it lost the distinction on Richard's fall in 1399. Through the Local Government Act 1972, which came into effect on 1 April 1974, some areas in the north became part of the metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Stockport, Hyde and Stalybridge in the north-east became part of Greater Manchester. Much of the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west, including the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey, joined Merseyside as the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. At the same time the Tintwistle Rural District was transferred to Derbyshire; the area of south Lancashire not included within either the Merseyside or Greater Manchester counties, including Widnes and the county b
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objects d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany; as a material stained glass is glass, coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are used to enhance the design; the term stained glass is applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and fused to the glass in a kiln.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained intact since the Late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived. In this context, the purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as "illuminated wall decorations"; the design of a window may be figurative. Windows within a building may be thematic, for example: within a church – episodes from the life of Christ. Stained glass is still popular today, but referred to as art glass, it is prevalent in luxury homes, commercial buildings, places of worship.
Artists and companies are contracted to create beautiful art glass ranging from domes, backsplashes, etc. During the late medieval period, glass factories were set up where there was a ready supply of silica, the essential material for glass manufacture. Silica requires a high temperature to melt, something not all glass factories were able to achieve; such materials as potash and lead can be added to lower the melting temperature. Other substances, such as lime, are added to rebuild the weakened network and make the glass more stable. Glass is coloured by adding metallic oxide powders or finely divided metals while it is in a molten state. Copper oxides produce green or bluish green, cobalt makes deep blue, gold produces wine red and violet glass. Much modern red glass is produced using copper, less expensive than gold and gives a brighter, more vermilion shade of red. Glass coloured while in the clay pot in the furnace is known as pot metal glass, as opposed to flashed glass. Using a blow-pipe, a "gather" of molten glass is taken from the pot heating in the furnace.
The gather is formed to a bubble of air blown into it. Using metal tools, molds of wood that have been soaking in water, gravity, the gather is manipulated to form a long, cylindrical shape; as it cools, it is reheated. During the process, the bottom of the cylinder is removed. Once brought to the desired size it is left to cool. One side of the cylinder is opened, it is put into another oven to heat and flatten it, placed in an annealer to cool at a controlled rate, making the material more stable. "Hand-blown" cylinder and crown glass were the types used in ancient stained-glass windows. Stained glass windows were in churches and chapels as well as many more well respected buildings; this hand-blown glass is created by blowing a bubble of air into a gather of molten glass and spinning it, either by hand or on a table that revolves like a potter's wheel. The centrifugal force causes the molten bubble to flatten, it can be cut into small sheets. Glass formed this way can be either coloured and used for stained-glass windows, or uncoloured as seen in small paned windows in 16th- and 17th-century houses.
Concentric, curving waves are characteristic of the process. The center of each piece of glass, known as the "bull's-eye", is subject to less acceleration during spinning, so it remains thicker than the rest of the sheet, it has the distinctive lump of glass left by the "pontil" rod, which holds the glass as it is spun out. This lumpy, refractive quality means the bulls-eyes are less transparent, but they have still been used for windows, both domestic and ecclesiastical. Crown glass is still made today, but not on a large scale. Rolled glass is produced by pouring molten glass onto a metal or graphite table and rolling it into a sheet using a large metal cylinder, similar to rolling out a pie crust; the rolling can be done by machine. Glass can be "double rolled", which means it is passed through two cylinders at once to yield glass of a specified thickness (typically about 1/8" or
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, state, organization or corporation; the Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, therefore its genealogy across time. The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields; the ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields. Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal. Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade.
Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies; the arts of vexillology and heraldry are related. The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer; the sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in the mid-14th century. Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms; some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms has been controlled by the College of Arms.
Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, protect their use as trademarks. Many societies exist that aid in the design and registration of personal arms. Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos; the French system of heraldry influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy there is not a Fons Honorum to enforce heraldic law; the French Republics that followed have either affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of municipal body. Assumed arms are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage is now always the mark of an heir apparent or an heir presumptive; because of their importance in identification in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was regulated. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, other establishments. In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.
In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility and chivalry. It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal. In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still working out of Dublin Castle; the last Ulster King of Arm
Champlevé is an enamelling technique in the decorative arts, or an object made by that process, in which troughs or cells are carved, die struck, or cast into the surface of a metal object, filled with vitreous enamel. The piece is fired until the enamel fuses, when cooled the surface of the object is polished; the uncarved portions of the original surface remain visible as a frame for the enamel designs. The name comes from the French for "raised field", "field" meaning background, though the technique in practice lowers the area to be enamelled rather than raising the rest of the surface; the technique has been used since ancient times, though it is no longer among the most used enamelling techniques. Champlevé is suited to the covering of large areas, to figurative images, although it was first prominently used in Celtic art for geometric designs. In Romanesque art its potential was used, decorating caskets and vessels, in Limoges enamel and that from other centres. Champlevé is distinguished from the technique of cloisonné enamel in which the troughs are created by soldering flat metal strips to the surface of the object.
The difference between the techniques is analogous to the woodworking techniques of intarsia and marquetry. It differs from the basse-taille technique, which succeeded it in the highest quality Gothic work, in that the bottoms of the recesses for the enamel are rough, so only opaque enamel colours are used. In basse-taille the recesses are modelled, translucent enamels are used, for more subtle effects, as in the 14th century Parisian Royal Gold Cup. Enamel was first used on small pieces of jewellery, has disintegrated in ancient pieces that have been buried. Consistent and frequent use of champlevé technique is first seen in the La Tène style of early Celtic art in Europe, from the 3rd or 2nd century BC, where the predominant colour was a red intended as an imitation of red coral, the base was bronze; the "Insular Celts" of the British Isles made common use of the technique, seen as highlights on the relief decoration of the Battersea Shield and other pieces. However this was technically not true enamel in the usual sense of the word, as the glass was only heated until it became a soft paste before being pushed into place.
This is sometimes informally known as "sealing-wax" enamelling, may be described as "glass inlay" or similar terms. True enamelling technique, where glass paste is put into place and fired until it liquifies, was learnt from the Romans; the earliest literary description of enamel is from the Greek sophist Philostratus III, who wrote in his Icones, describing polychrome horse-harness: "It is said that the barbarians in the Ocean pour these colours on heated bronze and that they adhere, become as hard as stone and preserve the designs that are made on them". Celtic curvilinear styles were effective in enamel, were used throughout the Roman period when they disappear in other media; the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan is a 2nd-century trulla with large enamel roundels in four colours of enamel, commissioned by or for Draco, a soldier a Greek, as a souvenir of his service on Hadrian's Wall. It is one of a group of similar enamelled vessels found in northern Gaul. Smaller items from similar contexts include brooches and other jewellery, mounts for horse harness as described by Philostratus.
Around the end of the Roman Empire new forms arose: the terminals of the fancy penannular brooches of the British Isles become decorated with champlevé, as do other fasteners and fittings, the mounts of hanging bowls. These last have long puzzled art historians, as not only is their purpose unclear, but they are found in Anglo-Saxon and Viking contexts, including three at Sutton Hoo, but their decoration uses predominantly Celtic motifs. One of the Sutton Hoo bowls had been repaired, but in a different, style. Altogether, production of the different types of hanging bowls covers the period 400–1100. While the leading expert, Rupert Bruce-Mitford, sees the bowls as the products of "Celtic" workshops often in Ireland, in the same period the use of large areas of champlevé in the most ornate Celtic brooches reduces, though gem-like enamel highlights, some in millefiori, are still found. In Anglo-Saxon art, as in that of most of Europe and the Byzantine world, this was the period when cloisonné technique dominated enamelling.
Champlevé is associated with Romanesque art, many of the finest survivals of the style feature the technique. There was a great increase in use of the technique in several areas in the late 11th century, just as the Romanesque style matured; the immediate source of the style remains obscure. Copper or bronze bases were used, which were soft and easy to work, as well as cheap, but as they discoloured in heat opaque enamels needed to be used. Blue was now the dominant colour, as in stained glass. Mosan and Limoges enamels are the most famous, the figures carved in the copper plate display a superb sense of line; the Stavelot Triptych in New York is an example of the finest Mosan work, the Becket Casket in London a fine early piece from Limoges. The names of several Mosan goldsmith-enamellers are known. Relief and modelled figures were enamelled, some metal bases formed by hammering into moulds; the Limoges production i