Further Examples of the Crosier from the Eleventh Through Twentieth Centuries

In our previous article on the subject, we spoke of the general history and symbolism of the crosier as a symbol of jurisdiction and authority, including some of the various forms the crosier has taken. Today our intent is to present a survey of some different forms the Latin "crook" form has taken over the centuries, ranging from the medieval period up until present times.  To do that, we have collected together a few samples, organized progressively by century, from the period of the second millennium. 

We begin with the eleventh century. Croziers of the medieval period were frequently seen in metal as well as ivory or other similar types of bone or bone-like material.






The former examples are, of course, set into the gothic style of the period. As we shift into the Renaissance, tastes in general were changing, so while the crook form remains a constant, the stylistic flourishes attached to that basic form start to similarly shift toward the more organic and naturalistic motifs popularized within the period.  These first two examples, one taken from the fifteenth century and the other from the very early 1600's, shows the transition between the medieval period and successive centuries.



As we move toward the latter part of the 1600's the more curvilinear, naturalistic/floriated motifs begin to assert their dominance. 




Of course, within the nineteenth century, the influence of the gothic revival would be felt, and as such, we begin to see examples that either re-incorporate gothic decorative elements or which would adopt the earlier gothic stylistic motifs wholesale.  How much (or whether any) gothic was adopted really depended in great part on the region. Places such as the south of Italy would see much less of this than say England or France for example. These next two examples come from Italy. 



By the time of the twentieth century, we saw the continuance of most every style shown here, but if there was something that was stylistically distinct for this particular period, it would be elements taken from the paleochristian revival that was popularized within the twentieth century Liturgical Movement. Corresponding with this was the revival of some of the popular paleochristian symbols that were re-vitalized with the archeological emphases of the period, as in the case of this example which utilizes the ancient Christian Chi-Rho monogram.

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