A lion rears, scrabbling his claws against a shield held by a standing knight. The knight wears a long tunic over chain mail, his helm is down, and he plants his feet to hold his shield firmly against his attacker. He positions his sword down low, focusing on defense. As part of our reconstruction, we have been able both to add more fragments to this design and to correct the number of chevrons on the knight’s shield in the drawing (Fig. 20).
This tile design was probably copied from a seal made for an English crusading family: either the seal of Roger de Quincy or that of his father, Saher; both of whom were Earls of Winchester. Saher de Quincy died on crusade in 1219, during a journey in which he was probably accompanied by his son, Roger. A connection between the presence of lions on these seals and their English owners’ crusading activities is likely. If a viewer were to connect this design with the personal history of the owners of the seals that it resembled, echoes of the crusades in this design and in this series would reverberate.
To learn more about the lion fighter tiles, see the video on the Classicizing Rider page.