Upside-down bells in mainland Europe

Segeberg font by Quoth via Wikimedia Commons

I was recently cataloguing a book on monasteries in Schleswig-Holstein (Klöster in Schleswig-Holstein: von den Anfängen bis zur Reformation by Oliver Auge and Katja Hillebrand).  As I was leafing through the pages I was struck by a double page spread on baptismal fonts, and in particular by a full-page photograph of the highly decorative one to be found in the Marienkirche in Bad Segeberg.

The most notable feature of these fonts to me is that they were made of bronze, often, it seems, as a sideline for bellfounders (they do perhaps resemble upside-down bells). After a little research I soon realised that unlike in Britain (where stone was the usual material for fonts) there are still many fine examples of bronze baptismal fonts in northern Germany and nearby. Continue reading