baptismal font

This 13th-century baptismal font bears the images of a number of heads, including that of Mary, who can be recognized by her crown and, mid front, the figure with the twisted beard: her son Jesus Christ. The font is from the Tjalhuizum village church and is made of stone from Andernach, Germany.

Doopvont uit de kerk van Tjalhuizum, 13de eeuw

Baptismal fonts have been used for a long time, witness a well-known Frisian tale:

In the 8th century there was a pagan Frisian king named Redbad who, at the point of being baptised as a Christian by a missionary, suddenly realised that in Christian heaven he would not meet his pagan ancestors, whereupon he immediately stepped out of the font and refused to be baptised. Following their King’s example, most Frisians remained pagans, but after Redbad’s death many of them were eventually converted to Christianity.