Decorative leadwork is an unsung craft tradition with its origins in the distant past. A simple, hardly changing process of manufacture by hand, using sheet lead and carved moulds, has long continued. Applied designs with floral, zoomorphic or human forms are rarely repeated in entirety. Similar but seldom identical designs and legends can be found in numerous artefacts, large and small, from the Roman era to the twentieth century, including Roman water tanks, Saxon caskets, twelfth-century fonts, papal bull seals, tokens of secular or religious significance, and quaint roof embelishments. Ornate lead rainheads have survived and applied, continue to be conserved or replenished by craftsmen and artists today in response to aesthetic needs.
Table of Contents
Leadwork in the ancient world; Leadwork from the middle ages to the present; Small artefacts and statuary; Rainheads; Ornage cisterns; Further reading; Places to visit