being the ramblings of the Bishop of Troas while traveling,
begun while on Sabbatical in Florence
Your Grace,Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos on Flickr! Next to one of your earlier photos, you ask what the statue is holding in his hand. I do believe that particular statue of St. Stephen was commissioned for the Wool Manufacturer's Guild and that he is holding a piece of wool, spun or unspun. Based on the closeup, I would say spun.
Thank you for taking the trouble to research that! I was implying, of course, that it looked like a cigarette, but I really thought it might have been all that remained of a censer. (Donatello's St George, in a nearby niche outside the same church, once held a bronze sword in his now empty right hand.) I'm going to post your explanation on my flickr page, under the picture itself. Thanks again!
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