Lombard sculptor, Lectern with nine skeins

Lombard sculptor, Lectern with nine skeins, Musso marble, 9th century (inv. n. 483)

A refined example of the variety of solutions that found their expression in the ornate lacing of the Carolingian period, the work in question juts from an ambo, and is called a lectern in virtue of its function as a place on which sacred texts were read. The slab was originally the base of a Roman monument, which is evident from the inscription dating to the 2nd century BC along its upper edge. The outer face, enclosed within a simple moulding in the form of a ribbon, is knotted to form nine skeins in rows of three and diagonally connected to one another. The work, which was acquired in 1890 by the Municipal Museum of Art, belonged to Giovanni Battisti Lucini Passalacqua. A fragment with the same motif can be found in Moltrasio, in the chapel that was decorated by Alessandro Lucini Passalacqua in 1863 exploiting various architectural fragments possibly belonging to the pre-Romanic phase of the basilica of Sant'Abbondio in Como.