Sir Galahad

Cast Iron Sir Galahad Bookends after George Frederic Watts (LEO Design)

Galahad was amongst the greatest of the Great Knights—a gallant so holy of spirit and pure of heart that God had granted him much favor.

As a young man, Sir Galahad was brought to King Arthur’s court at Camelot by his father, the great knight Lancelot. Once there, the young Galahad is lead to the Round Table by a wizened, old knight and invited to take the empty seat—a seat reserved only for the man who will someday find the Holy Grail.  While other men have attempted to take the seat before him—and died doing so—Galahad takes the seat and lives. King Arthur recognizes that Galahad is a very special knight, indeed.

King Arthur leads the young knight out to the river bank for his next test: removing the sword “Excalibur” from the rock into which it is embedded.  This test, too, Galahad passes.

The king sends The Knights of the Round Table out into the world on the quest for the Holy Grail.  After much travel, adventure, swordplay, and the saving of damsels, Sir Galahad eventually does find the Holy Grail.  Upon seeing it, Galahad requests that he should be allowed to select the time of his death.

On his way back to Camelot, Galahad is visited by Joseph of Aramathea, an experience so overwhelmingly glorious, that Galahad asks that he be allowed to die.  Angels descend and raise him to the heavens.

The bookends shown above portray Sir Galahad as shown in the famous 1862 painting by George Frederic Watts, RA (1817- 1904).  Considered an appropriate role model for any well-bred boy, pictures of Sir Galahad (and bookends like these) might decorate the room of a young Knight-in-Training.  Interestingly, the model for Watts's painting was his wife, the British actress Ellen Terry.