Dopfunten, Lyngsjö Kyrka, Skåne
Font, Lyngsjo Church, Scania, southern Sweden, late 12th century



Referenced on p8, The Scandinavian Baltic Crusades 1100-1500 by David Lindholm, David Nicolle and Angus McBride
A king and one of his retainers or guards, in a late 12th century Swedish-Danish relief carving. Note that the helmet, right, is of the almost flat-topped form but still has a nasal; the mail coif covers almost the whole face and is shown in a different stylized manner to the mail hauberk. The soldier is otherwise armed with a tall, almost flat-topped kite shield and a sword. (in situ Lyngsjö Church, Skäne, Sweden)
Links to larger images:
King Henry II of England condemns Thomas Becket
The Murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury
Edward Grim with a cross staff in his hand
Saint Thomas Becket
Christ and Saints


Dopfunten, som är av sandsten, är tillverkad av Tove Stenmästare, som var både kyrkobyggare och skulptör. Förutom traditionella bilder ur Jesu liv finns det sex bilder, som visar ”Mordet i katedralen”. Det är ärkebiskopen av Canterbury, Thomas Becket, som blir nerstucken vid högaltaret i sin kyrka av fyra soldater på uppdrag av kungen Henrik II, femtedag jul 1170. Det var ett resultat av stridigheter mellan kyrka och stat som föranledde detta. Bilderna föreställer kung Henrik på sin tron, därefter soldaterna rusande till katedralen. Hugget över ärkebiskopens nacke avbildas och sista bilden föreställer Thomas med korsstav i handen. Thomas Becket blev redan två år efter sin död helgonförklarad, vilket symboliseras av korsstaven. T S Eliot känd engelsk författare och nobelpristagare 1948, har behandlat detta drama i boken Mordet i katedralen. Nedre kuppan har fyra ganska sedvanliga figurer uthuggna. Två skräckfigurer hälften djur och hälften människa samt två fantasidjur. Ursprungsfärg i rött, grönt och blått skönjes sporadiskt på delar av funten.
Source: Välkommen till Lyngsjö kyrka

The font, which is of sandstone, was made by the Tove Stone Master, who was both church builder and sculptor. In addition to traditional images of Jesus' life, there are six pictures, showing "Murder in the Cathedral". It is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, who is struck at the main altar in his church by four soldiers on behalf of King Henry II, in July, 1170AD. It was a result of infighting between church and state that caused this. The images represent King Henry on his throne, then the soldiers rushed to the Cathedral. The blow to the back of the Archbishop's head is shown and the last image shows Thomas [Edward Grim] with a cross staff in his hand. Thomas Becket was canonized within two years of his death, as symbolized by the cross staff. T. S. Eliot, famous English writer and Nobel Prize laureate in 1948, has treated this drama in the book Murder in the Cathedral. The lower register has four pretty ordinary carved figures. Two horror figures, half animal and half human, and two fantasy animals. Original colour in red, green and blue are discerned sporadically on parts of the font.



A number of Scanian baptismal fonts have been attributed to Tove, the master mason who signed the font in Gumlösa Church. These fonts, however, are some-what heterogeneous in style, and should be shared between Tove and his pupil Hachi, who signed the font at Uppåkra. Regarding the Lyngsjö font, which has also been considered to be by Tove, the situation is rather more complicated. The total conception of the font is not typical of Tove's work, nor is the vigorous carving of the base or some of the figures on the bowl. Most of the latter, however, are quite in his style, so it must therefore be assumed that two masons worked on the font—Tove and a previously unknown one, who may be called the Lyngsjö Master. His style can be found, in a more highly-developed form, on two capitals in Dalby Church, both unfinished. The Lyngsjö Master was probably trained in north Germany, and came to Skåne around 1200. He suddenly broke off his activities there, however, and as a consequence had not time to found a school.
Source: Lyngsjömästaren : en tysk stenhuggare i Skåne omkring 1200 by Frans Carlsson



Other Thomas Becket images:
Murder of Thomas Becket, Spoleto, Italy, late 12th-century
The Murder of Thomas Becket, Wall Painting in Santa Maria de Terrassa, Catalonia, Spain, c1180-1200
Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, Chronica Majora by Matthew Paris, ca. 1240–53
Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, Carrow Psalter, c.1250
Alabaster panel with a scene of the Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket, England, 1450-1500

Other Scandinavian images:
Altar from Broddetorp Parish Church, 12th century, Västergötland, Sweden
Scandinavian Knights on the Valthjofsstadir Church Door, Iceland, c. 1200 AD
Other Illustrations of Scandinavian Costume and Soldiers

Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers