TillbakaChildren of the light


Bronze censer, made in the 14th century and probably imported.

This censer is made up of two parts. The lower part is a quite plainly decorated, footed bowl, and the upper part is an architecturally fashioned lid with a church rooster top.

The architectural shape freely alludes to a church building, with the stylised Gothic window shapes and the central tower positioned in keeping with the vessel’s round shape and with its practical function in mind. There were probably chains for this vessel, from which it could be swung during mass, but today only the chain holes are to be seen.

The censer is a liturgical vessel and in medieval times was classed as “vasa non sacra”, a non-sacred object. As such it did not come into direct contact with the host and therefore did not have to be made of precious metal. Censers were often made of bronze. This was a less valuable material, which probably explains why so many objects of this type were not confiscated and melted down at the Reformation. The architectural design was meant to remind the beholder of the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem.

In medieval times, the use of censers played an important part in connection, for example, with blessings and consecrations, but also as a symbol of prayer, among other things. Similarly, the fragrance of incense inside the church was an important part of the total experience of the church interior as something different and sacred.