Taufbecken of Alladorf

Pfarrer Bacigalupo and I drove through a beautiful part of Franconia to the village of Alladorf where the caretakers of the church opened its doors for us. The black-and-white image previously available left me totally unprepared for the highly decorated and colorful font we found. It is clear that Balthasar found his inspiration from the Taufbecken in his hometown, right down to the belt and wings.  This is an object from the hands of a Hasselbacher of over 200 years ago. The direct connection had even more impact when I saw what lay beneath the cover.


From the Hand of Balthasar.

The ornate top was removed for us to reveal a spectacular inscription: "Der Verfertiger Dieses war Johann Balthasar Haselbacher zu Mönchsteinach 85."    Translated, the inscription reads: "The maker of this was Johann Balthasar Haselbacher of Münchsteinach, 1785." Note that Balthasar spells his given name with an 's' and not a 'z'; and uses only one 's' in Haselbacher. In those years, Münchsteinach would have been spelled with a 'o umlaut' as it is here. My own hands traced the letters my cousin Balthasar carved for us.


Not the Prettiest Putto.

I concede that the face of the Angel is less graceful than the one at Münchsteinach, but I accept it as though it were a family member!


This detail tells of the patron of the piece:  Dorothea Reininger of Hanbach, 1785.
Hanbach is just across the small Ehe River from Stübach.

Detail of the St. John the Baptist (or is it Christ with stigmata?), on the Becken cover.  The figure also wears a belt across his chest. (Those of you with better knowledge of the religious attributes in art can help me with the identification.)

Please view the video supplement with additional views that I placed on YouTube.

And That's Not All!

After this viewing, I would have scored my day to have been a resounding success. This was one of the projects I had hoped to accomplish during this trip. However, as is so often the case, an unexpected opportunity arose that put the icing on the cake. Pfarrer Bacigalupo informed me that the motif of an angel holding the bowl on its shoulders (Taufatlant) had a longer tradition. In fact, he told me that the sandstone font by Christoph Rendel in Münchsteinach was itself modeled after a Taufbecken in the nearby village of Herrnneuses. Naturally I had to finish my day in the village of Herrnneuses and did so with a spectacular result. (Next Page)


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