STATUETTES and reliefs in gold and silver were throughout the Gothic period among the chief products of the schools of craftsmanship all over the country, but of these practically none remain, and our knowledge of them is gained chiefly from the inventories of monastic treasures made at the time of the Reformation.
The sumptuous shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury, which was made at St. Albans by Walter of Durham, has already been mentioned. At Bury St. Edmunds there was a similar shrine for the body of the local saint, but its jewels and statues had so often to be torn from it to pay debts and taxes, that at last the abbot caused it to be decorated only with an elaborate cresting, so firmly affixed that it could not be removed.
The craftsmen connected with the Court School at Westminster made many images and ornaments of silver, gold, and precious stones for the altars of the Abbey. Sometimes they collaborated with the 'broderers', for there is mention of an embroidered frontal bordered with pearls, on which four women were working for three and three-quarter years, and on which enamelled plaques formed part of the decoration. But the most elaborate of all their works was the shrine of St. Edward, which was made by picked workmen and adorned with gold statues encrusted with precious stones. In 1267 Henry III was obliged to pawn a number of the statues, and they included a 'Majesty' ( Christ enthroned) 'with an emerald in the breast', a 'St. Peter, holding in one hand a church, in the other the keys, trampling on Nero, with a large sapphire in his breast', a 'Blessed Virgin and