UNKNOWN GOLDSMITH, Danish
(active around 1200 in Scandinavia)

Tamdrup altar

c. 1200
Gilt copper
Tamdrup church, Jelling

Tamdrup church is one of the oldest churches in Denmark connected to the royal dynasty in Jelling. The Danish king Harald Bluetooth was converted and baptized about 980 by a missionary called Poppo. This event was commemorated in a gold plaque of the Tamdrup altar.

The present front of the altar in the Tamdrup church is a cast of the original gilt copper reliefs which are at the National Museum. It cannot be said for certain if the copper plates belong to an altar or maybe to a reliquary, which might have been made for Poppo. The last suggestion is in connection to Tamdrup church's function as a place of pilgrimage. The casts are today placed in three rows with Christ in the middle. The story of the plates are actually four stories, which very well indicate that they might have belonged to a four-sided box. The dating is uncertain. The historical event, Harald Bluetooth's christening happened in the late 900s, but compared to other golden altars the Tamdrup altar is dated to c. 1200.