This week I delved into the strange and wondrous world of English misericords. A colleague at work handed me the excellent book by Marshall Laird on the subject. To quote from the book’s inner page:
“Hidden beneath the tip-up seats of the choir stalls of many English churches and cathedrals are some of the most vivid images that have come down to us from the Middle Ages. Their originality of design, breadth of subject-matter and artistry render these misericords England’s finest surviving mediaeval wood carvings. These sculptures were normally out of sight, so the craftsmen felt free to carve everyday scenes and animals from their own lives as well as the monsters and mermaids that swarmed in their imagination, rather than the religious subjects one might expect.
Here are some more examples I found on the web. Fascinating stuff.