Mosaic Flooring of the Chancel
At the time of the remodeling of the chancel, the floor was laid in mosaic after designs by Robert Gibson. The mosaic flooring of the chancel outside of the sanctuary was the gift of Robert C. Pruyn on April 12th, 1886. It has no specific decoration except the wave-lines on the chancel steps symbolizing the laver of baptism. The mosaic of the sanctuary, on the other hand, has an elaborate symbolic treatment, the chief features of which are the symbols of the four Evangelists and the sacred monogram at the base of the altar steps.
A small brass plate inserted in the mosaic bears this inscription:
The Pavement of this Sanctuary was
given in loving and sacred memory of
Orlando Meads, Twenty-seven years
Vestrymen and eight years Warden of
this Parish. Died February 11, A. D. 1884.
Mosaic Flooring of the Nave
The mosaic flooring in the nave was given in 1901 in loving memory of John Wilbur Tillinghast and his son Wilbur. The pavement was laid by Tretel Bros. & Co. of New York after designs of J. A. Holzer of New York. At the time of its dedication on September 29th, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, it was called the handsomest example of its kind in the country.
The motif of the decoration extending across the church at the foot of the chancel steps are the words of Christ,“I am the vine, ye are the branches.” The central quatrefoil bears the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet in reference to the first chapter of the Apocalypse, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Into the quatrefoil holding the Alpha and Omega strike the roots of a vine, which, with its leaves and clusters, covers the space in front of the chancel. It symbolizes Christ, the life-vine of the Church and Humanity. In its growth it intertwines and holds four large medallions.
The two on either side of the central symbol bear respectively the pelican, the symbol of redemption, and the phœnix, the symbol of the resurrection. The one on the extreme left bears three fishes, one of the earliest Christian symbols, indicating baptism. The one on the extreme right bears a ship, a symbol likewise of the earliest ages of Christianity, indicating the Church. In the intertwining of the Christ-vine, there are sixteen shields, holding the traditional symbols of the twelve apostles as well as Moses, David, St. Stephen, and St. Paul.
The middle aisle has five large medallions. The first one bears the memorial inscription as follows:
was given A. D. 1901
in loving memory of
Joseph Wilbur Tillinghast
sometime Warden of this Parish
and of his son
The other four medallions enclose shields, which bear the following symbols: the lamp, indicating good works; the anchor, representing hope; the crown, representing the celestial reward; and the corporate arms of St. Peter’s church — the inverted cross of the apostle’s martyrdom, the mitre, and the key and crosier.
The side aisles have decorated medallions similar to those of the middle aisle. The symbolic treatment is taken from St. Mark’s in Venice and reproduces an ancient type of symbolism. It represents the sacred tree, identified, some think, with the life-tree in Eden, supported by various animals which typify various virtues of Christian character. In the tower-room the decoration gives the little first St. Peter’s, built in the middle of State Street in 1715.