03 October 2010

a joust, a kist and a key

Hidden away in the church of St Thomas the Apostle on the Isle of Harty is a 14th century Flemish kist. I'd never heard of the work kist before, but it seems it is simply an old word for a chest, one for storing wool or linen, or in some explanations, a bride's trousseau. Normally the carving isn't visible because the chest is locked away in the Lady Chapel, but when we visited last week there was a wedding so the gate to the chapel was unlocked to admit the couple to sign the register.

Unusual to see knights having, albeit somewhat perilous, fun in a church - normally it's their effigies on display. And quite what this kist is doing in this church is a bit of a mystery.  Just like whatever it is you would find inside if you were to turn the key in the lock...

3 comments:

Rattling On said...

Marvellous, and I love the repairs that have been done to it.

Tigger said...

Kist is a Dutch word still in use today meaning, as you so rightly said, " chest ". I believe that originally they were used to store valuable documents etc and large versions for linen, clothing and so on. They come in all shapes & sizes and make for fabulous hiding places !

Val said...

Lovely... the details of the carvings of the horses heads are beautiful
I'd never hear of kist it has a charm of it's own
Thanks!