Font Cover 

Creator(s):   Grinling Gibbons 1648-1721

Date:    1682

Dimensions:   85 x 85 x 95cm

Materials:   Limewood

Location:   All Hallows by the Tower, Byward Street, London EC3R 5BJ

Credit Line (copyright notice for material) :   All Hallows by the Tower

Online Catalogue Entry :


The font cover is a tour-de-force example of the three-dimensional, sculptural quality of Gibbons’ carving. Formed from three cherubs, surrounded by garlands of fruit and ears of wheat and surmounted by a dove, it combines exceptional technical mastery with a strong aestheticism and design. After a Puritan purging of ‘offensive popish’ iconographical objects during the middle of the century, churches were entering a period of redecoration. New ornamentation was encouraged but given dignified restraint and avoided overt religious symbology. Gifted by parishioner James Foyle in 1682, the font cover decoratively celebrates the rites of baptism and exemplifies the new type of Baroque adornment that Gibbons helped bring to England’s churches during this period.

You can explore the amazing detail of the font cover as a 3-D model (created by software designer Dave Fletcher), here.