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Melbury Bubb Baptismal Font 3D Model
The church in this tiny village possesses one of the most spectacularly carved baptismal fonts in the country: the 10th- or 11th-century baptismal font from Melbury Bubb (Dorset) in south west England. Now positioned upsidedown and recut, the font is carved all over in large interlaced quadrupeds–lions and a stag–as well as smaller dog figures and bipeds with long tails.
Scholars debate if the font was designed for use as a baptismal font or if it was originally the shaft of an Anglo-Saxon standing cross recut and turned upsidedown for later liturgical use. The stag, possibly a reference to the baptismal waters of Psalm 42, supports this interpretation. Rosemary Cramp has argued that the animal ornament symbolized the victory of Christ over “shrunken, ineffectual little monsters” of sin, though also noted the difficulties of dating the object.
The model as shown here is right-side up as an Anglo-Saxon cross shaft, with the central bowl and base removed to permit viewing the iconography from the interior.