Front view of carved figures

Image of the feature "VI. Loose Sculpture: Voussoir" at Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Kirknewton voussoir (see also: Old Parish Church, Kirknewton).

by James King.

One voussoir survives from the church, now in the collection of the Royal Museum of Scotland. It appears to have been given to the museum in 1781 listed as a ‘stone truss, with two figures carved on it, which supported the sounding board over the pulpit in the old church of Kirknewton’ (Cat. p. 121 no. 76). Carved of sandstone, the voussoir formed part of an arch of two orders, the lower section having been decorated with chevron consisting of alternating rolls and arrises. The vertical centre of these chevrons is carved with a much smaller series of chevrons. The upper section of the voussoir is carved with a naked male and a naked female in a vulgar erotic pose, each grasping each other’s genitals. Two leaves within a triangular space are carved on the bottom face, along with a section of chevron.

Dimensions

Depth 0.41 m
Height 0.32 m
Width at bottom 0.13 m
Width at top 0.17 m