Saint Peter, Tiffany windows at Historic Blandford Church
April 1, 2018
Saint Peter, the Missouri Tiffany Window
Tiffany windows in the memorial chapel include the Missouri window portraying Saint Peter, who was known also as Cephas meaning “rock.” He is depicted holding two large keys in his right hand, representing the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He also wears a jeweled collar made of cut pieces of faceted glass that are set on top of the actual window design. The Missouri window was unveiled to the public at the Ladies Memorial Association’s 1904 commemoration of the June 9, 1864, Battle of Old Men and Boys, which marked the start of the almost ten-month siege of Petersburg in 1864-65. The state of Missouri, while there was considerable confederate sympathy, did not officially secede from the Union and was a border state.
The landscape behind the figure of Saint Peter is unique among the Blandford windows; the distant mountains, cliffs, mesas, plains and rippling sea are reminiscent of Asia Minor, were Saint Peter traveled and preached Christ’s doctrine. Saint Peter has perhaps the most luxurious robe of all with its folds of rich mauve and green, edged in gold. The light it reflects recalls sunlight on the ripples of a pond at sunset. The gold was probably sprayed on after the folds were formed and before the glass cooled. (Martha Wren Briggs, The Compass Windows of Old Blandford Church)
In the contract with the Tiffany Studios for the Missouri window, the cost of the window is $350, with a $35 fee for “sash protection, freight and setting.” This was the standard charge for each of the now priceless compass windows installed in the church between 1904 and 1912.
Blandford Church is now managed by the Petersburg Preservation Task Force and is open for tours on Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., with the last tour each day at 4:00 p.m. After you visit Blandford, consider dining and shopping in Old Towne. Visit any of these websites to help you determine where to go and what to do next:
Restaurants: visit http://petersburgpreservationtaskforce.com/tourism/restaurants/
And remember, Virginia is for Lovers! Visit us at www.virginia.org or @virginia.org