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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Lat. a spear-point), the projecting points forming the featherings or foliations in Gothic tracery, arches, panels, etc.; they came into use during the latter part of the Early English style, at which period they were sometimes worked with a small leaf, usually a trefoil, on the end. When first introduced, the cusps sprang from the flat under-surface or soffit of the arch, entirely independent of the mouldings, and this method was sometimes followed in decorated work; but they very soon began to be formed from the inner moulding next the soffit (usually either a splay or a hollow), and this continued to be the general practice until the expiration of Gothic architecture. Some of the richest examples may be found in Lincoln Cathedral. (See PANEL).

In the Decorated and Perpendicular styles they were frequently ornamented at the ends, either with heads, leaves, or flowers, and occasionally with animals. Parker, Gloss. of Architect. s.v. (See FOILS).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cusp'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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