Treasury loose stone 4 (finial), head face

Image of the feature "Loose Sculpture: 4. Finial" at Berkeley Castle.

by Ron Baxter.

A slab in the form of a finial with, at the top, a central bud-like projection flanked by outward-curving leaves.  The sandstone block is carved on both faces.  On one side is a central, broad multiple stem that bifurcates to run into the leaves at the upper angles, where it terminates in pods bearing rows of pea-like beading.  To either side of the central stem is a pair of side-shoots ending in spade-shaped leaves.  At the foot of the stem it is clasped by a plain band, and to either side of this are the tips of leaves rising from below the edge of the block.  The edges of this face are framed by a plain raised border, except at the bottom where the block is broken off.  The reverse of the slab is incised with a simple, frontal human head with a tapering jaw, incompletely modelled, with almond-shaped eyes, drilled or gouged for pupils; the nose and brows indicated by a single incised line, and a thin, straight mouth.  The outline of a border has been incised to either side and above the head, and part of the background above the head has been crudely cut back.  The right edge is damaged, with losses to the border area.

There are traces of red paint on the plain sides of the block.


Height of block 0.21 m
Thickness of block 0.09 m
Width of block at foot 0.16 m
Width of block at top (max. width) 0.18 m