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A Manx cross

Object number: ROMGH.1998.139.11

Type: Greetings card

Technique: Commercially printed

Material: Card

Width: 11.6cm | Height: 12.9cm

Production date: 1946 - 1952

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

In this design Bain uses a Celtic cross from the Isle of Man but alters its decorative details. The result is an entertaining and engaging puzzle. He draws our attention to the sculptor’s use of a single, continuous line and encourages us to follow it.

By breaking one edge ‘turn’ of the interlace at the base of the cross, he creates two ‘ends’ to the interlaced strand. If you carefully trace the line from point A, you’ll end up at point B. If Bain had not broken the strand it would of course be continuous, symbolic of Eternity in a religious context.

This Celtic cross is one of several at the church of St Adamnan in Lonan, on the Isle of Man. Beyond the island, it wasn’t a very well-known site and so it would be interesting to know how Bain became aware of it. The cross is the most ornate of the group. Bain amends its form and adds his own details, like the knotwork between the arms of the cross.

Author: Alastair Morton

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One comment on “A Manx cross

  1. Could Bain have been inspired to visit the Isle of Man by his contacts with the firm of Quayle and Tranter, carpet manufacturers in Kidderminster? Quayle came from the Isle.

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