Baptismal fonts in Poland
The presented stone font dates back to the period when their greatest development took place and the goblet form of fonts was common. However, depending on the region, various decorations of fonts were used. Figural representations of Czech provenience were predominant in Silesia as there were numerous groups of stonemasons of Czech origin operating within this territory. Our font comes from the area of the Kingdom and is ornamented with a heraldic decoration. It is connected with the rising significance of nobility and their active participation in the life of parishes in the 2nd half of the 15th century. The coats of arms sometimes appeared as decorations in neighbouring countries, as well as in England, but they did not form such well-defined programmes and they never were the main element of the decoration of fonts.
The fonts were also covered by a multicoloured polychromy, which unfortunately survived only in fragments and in only a few cases; on the font presented in the museum in Biecz not even a single fragment had survived.
It is also interesting that the majority of fonts had a cover which was supposed to protect water against impurities but also against profanation and magic power. Unfortunately, not many examples survived, the only exception is the medieval cover in Tum near Łęczyca (where – as we all know – there is the Boruta devil living in the nearby castle).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
See babtismal font from the Museum of the Biecz Land in the collection from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums.