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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  January 2005

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION January 2005

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Subject:

Re: metal decorations on clothing

From:

Thomas Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 27 Jan 2005 10:42:51 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

I have an inquiry in to a friend in DISTAFF, the historic clothing
group.

I do recall two things: Louis XI's cap laden with the badges of
saints, also any early depiction of the Infant of Prague.

Tom Izbicki

Thomas Izbicki
Collection Development Coordinator
Eisenhower Library
Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410)516-7173
fax (410)516-8399

>>> [log in to unmask] 01/27/05 10:11 AM >>>
medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture

From: Chris Laning <[log in to unmask]>

> ...we certainly do have examples of the rather more sparing use of
metal plaques, coins, spangles, flat cutouts, and stamped and gilded
little bits on other items.

> - Quite a few of the lead and pewter pilgrim's badges, for
instance,
        were made to be sewn onto clothing rather than worn as pins.

certainly the case for some of those which survive from Chartres:

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/forgeais/forgeais2_28.jpg

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/forgeais/forgeais2_29.jpg

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/forgeais/forgeais4_118.jpg

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/forgeais/forgeais4_118.jpg

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/mitchiner/mit_ch_recto.jpg

http://christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/mitchiner/mit_ch_verso.jpg

fashioning a "pin" would be an unneeded added complexity --and
expense-- for
these modest pewter souviners.


> Metal badges, including figures of animals, crowns, etc., sewn onto
the
clothing of servants and followers, were certainly a feature of noble
house-holds in many places right up through the 16th century.

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/horseshoe.jpg

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/badges/peckerwood.jpg

> - The heavily embroidered and pearl-encrusted gloves of the Holy
Roman
Emperor's regalia (Sicily, before 1220) are also decorated with metal
plaques,
some of them enameled.

these fancy gloves can be seen on sculptures, among other places, at
Chartres
(esp. South Porch, early 13th c.)

> - There is a surviving bishop's mitre from Minden (around 1400)
with an
Annunciation scene decorated with flat gold-foil stars; it also has a
row of
rectangular metal plaques around the bottom and a bas-relief gold
"vase" attached to the embroidery where flowers appear to spring out of

it.

> - There are also scattered loose plaques and flat ornaments that
have
turned up in various archaeological digs, clearly intended for sewing
onto
something.

ditto, on the Chartres statue columns.

earlier examples from such places as St. Gilles-du-Gard, Moissac,
Souillac,
etc.

>Paintings are helpful as well, although these are much harder to
interpret,
since one can often not be quite certain whether a given blob of paint
is
supposed to represent a bead, a spangle, embroidery, a highlight, or
an
accidental drip off the paintbrush <g>.


of course, late Middlevil (a.k.a. "Northern Renaissance") paintings,
with
their marvelous attention to the tiniest detail, would provide a wealth
of
material.
------------------


as it happens, i've recently been trying to identify a very curious
element
found on a bit of 12th century sculpture.

it is, apparently, some sort of "utilitarian" object, not a
"decorative" one.

among the extraordinary, very high quality sculptures found in
excavations
from the church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, is a large (73cn
high)
fragment of a torso of St. Peter (identifiable by his keys and church)
:

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/nazareth/bagatti/colfigs/bagatti-pl42.jpg


http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/nazareth/bagatti/colfigs/bagatti-pl43-3.jpg



he wears a cord-belt, below and to the left of the knot of which is
suspended
this curious object, carved in low relief on the smooth area of the
fabric
just there :

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/nazareth/bagatti/colfigs/bagatti-pl43-4.jpg


(note that the image will expand to larger than the size of an IE
window)

it appears to be some sort of "heart-shaped" object, suspended from a
wound
cord smaller in diameter than the cord which serves as Peter's belt.

to the right of it is something else which i can't quite make out:
perhaps a
thin leather(?) strap, looped in a half-hitch around the belt at the
top and
ending in a series of regularly punched holes.

is there something suspended from it, just where the punched holes
begin?

what *are* these objects ??

there is also the curious little "trident" scratched into the cloth
just to
the left of the fold on the left of the "heart" --but that appears to
be some
sort of "decoration", as opposed to those objects suspended from the
belt
which are, surely, utilitarian in nature.


any thoughts on these would be most welcome.

the Nazareth sculptures, btw, surely date from before the recapture of
the
town in 1187, and were perhaps done after a massive and destructive
earthquake
in 1170.

best from here,

christopher

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