I found this altar with its ciborium in a museum in Barcelona -more on that later- it dates from c1175. What sruck me as being interesting is that it is so high, I am over 6ft and I think it would come up to my elbows, about 4ft high. As we know, everyone before the 20th Century was a midget which presumably means that for many priests in the past it was at the level of the chest or chin. Presumably, its height reflects the time before that new fangled elevation business had been widely adopted and presumably during the canon of the Mass the priest would have stood before the altar without a Missal -unless it was almost vertical- and recited most of the prayers by heart.
Anyone with greater knowledge or imagine than me like to comment.
There were other painted frontals which would suggest this altar is not exceptional.
Anyone know when the fabric frontal came in?