By repute from York Minster, replaced during renovation in the 1960s and given by the Dean to the father of the previous owner
The juxtaposition of the noble and the grotesque was a typical part of the moralising imagery on churches in medieval England. See for example the two headstops with crooks among the kings and queens in the arcade of the angel choir of Lincoln Cathedral. The exaggerated bone and muscle structure of these two faces are often seen in English late gothic and early Renaissance heads such as the large screaming head in the Richard Wiseman collection (op.cit. no. 24)
RELATED LITERATURE P. Kidson and J. Cannon (eds.),'Part 7. Lincoln. Angel choir', in: P. Lasko (ed.), Courtauld Institute Illustration Archives. Archive 1. Cathedrals & monastic buildings in the British Isles, London, August 1978, nos. 1/7/157-162; R. Wiseman, Forty medieval carvings from the collection of Richard Wiseman, unpaginated, no. 24
There is wear and weathering throughout both heads consistent with age and placement outside. The stone is horizontally layered naturally, there are a few naturally occurring inclusions and stable hairline fissures visible on the surface including a fissure on the top of the head of the noblewoman. The noblewoman has a dark stain on the top of her head. The noblewoman has a small loss to the tip of her nose and a larger loss at the back of the block. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."