Feature Spotlight: The Romsey Abbey Virgin and Child.

The Romsey Abbey figure was unearthed during an excavation in 1922 by W J Andrew.

It was found in the area known as the “Nuns’ burial ground” along with bones, coffin nails and other items, but there does not appear to be any surviving detailed records of the discoveries.

Andrew retained the figurine in his private collection, and it was sold at Auction in 1934. It then disappeared from view until 1997, when it was offered up for sale by a Paris art dealer. It was purchased by Hampshire County Council with support from the MGC/V+A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Andover Museum. The figurine is currently on display Andover Museum.

The piece is made from ivory (elephant). It was probably carved in France, and can be dated on stylistic characteristics to the late 13th or early 14tg centuries.

Romsey was the site of a nunnery from the time of Edward the Elder (899-924) to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.


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