Pulchritudinous Pulpit

On most of my walking tours of historic #Charleston, we enter St. Michael’s Anglican Church. One of the many striking features inside is the old pulpit, hand-carved from mahogany in the 1750’s. Much of the pulpit work is attributed to the famed English-born furniture maker, Thomas Elfe, who was a member of St. Michael’s congregation. On the front piece of the pulpit is what’s known as a Christograph, with the Greek symbols IHS, and abbreviation of Jesus – Iota Eta Sigma – above the Star of David surrounding a circle with a triangle inside. This is symbolic of the Bible – Old Testament and New Testament. The pulpit was damaged in February, 1865 by Federal troops bombarding the city. The Union gunners did not distinguish between military and civilian targets, which today most likely would be considered inhumane, and sent a shell through the back wall that exploded inside the church. Fragments struck the pulpit, leaving scars that can still be seen today.  <img.src=”Charleston Landmarks” alt=”St. Michael’s pulpit”

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