Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Chapes - priests and miscellaneous images

Monks & priests have been wearing hoods for centuries by the 12th C. Juust a few examples here - these are not rare in the pictorial record.

GKS 182 2°: Vita Anselmi. Vita Malachiae. Sermo
France, c. 1200
Fol 1v. a monk writing at his desk representing the author of the vita, Eadmer

  • A hooded tunic
  • The hood comes to a V point in front of the neck

Vatican Bibl. Apost Vat, Ms Lat 4922, Vita Mathildis
Folio 49 German emperor kneeling before Countess Matilda (her confessor watches) around 1114

  • Another hooded tunic
  • The hood points straight up
  • A seam is visible vertical above the forehead.
  • A better picture (in colour) here.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris MS lat1 (Vivian Bible) Tours 845/6
Fol 423 presentation of the bible to Charles the Bald

  • This is a 9th C piece just to display how long the clergy had been using hoods. I chose it over conventional ones of hooded tunics because these clerical chapes/copes look quite like the mundane ones.
Valenciennes Library
Life of St Amand
France, Middle 12th Century
  • A long cloak worn over a priest's ceremonial clothing
  • The cloak appears to have corners at the bottom edges
  • The cloak is fastened at the neck with a broach, or at least appears to be
  • The hood is pointy

St Angelo in Formis, miniatures from the Register
12th C Italian

  • A hooded tunic and hooded cloak in the same picture
  • both hoods are pointy

Miscellaneous images

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscripts, Division occidentale Latin 16745 (bible des capucins )
c1170-1180 champagne France
Fol3 Anne priant

  • a man in a hooded chape. head section doesn't appear to be at all pointy.

British Library MS Cotton Nero C. IV (Winchester Psalter)
Winchester [Priory of St Swithun or Hyde Abbey], England; between 1121 and 1161
Folio 18v First temptation of Christ

  • A hood with shoulder length cape

GKS 181 2°: Vita Bernhardi. Miracula. Radbertus
France, c. 1200
Fol 1v,Doodle, part of a historated letter
  • This only shows the nead covering and not what it does at the bottom of the neck due to the nature of the picture
  • the length of the liripipe and curl at the end of it are probably exaggerated too

Wall Painting, Anagni, Cathedral Crypt c1255
Elijah on the Chariot of Fire (holding a cloak)

  • This could be a strange hold on a unhooded mantle, but there appears to be a clearly cut hood here
  • note the different coloured at the edge - a lining?

Berlin Print Room, MS 16
Liége c1160
Fol 9v John preaching and Baptising, A knight watches

  • might not be hooded, but rucking at neck suggests this

Friday, 1 December 2006

Is Goddard out of Copyright?

A revolutionary book on 12th C anglo-norman costume is getting quite old:

Goddard, Eunice. Women's Costume in French Texts of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press; Paris: Presses Universitaire de France, 1927.

So it must be out of copyright soon, surely?

Well that's going to depend upon the country. There's a nice summary of US copyright law, and Project Guttenberg explains Australian copyright law. Both depend upon when the author died.

Libries Australia lists the author as "Eunice Rathbone Goddard 1881-"
The book was published in Baltimore, so It's a fair bet they were American.
Searching a USA deaths register for Eunice Goddard (Eunice Rathbone Goddard gave no hits),

gives 3 results:
Eunice Goddard 22 Sep 1881-Jul 1967, last residence 21212 (Baltimore, Baltimore City, MD)
Eunice Goddard 19 Nov 1906-09 Oct 2002, last residence 02360 (Plymouth, Plymouth, MA)
Eunice Goddard 04 Aug 1911-Oct 1985, last residence 37914 (Knoxville, Knox, TN)

The first one looks about right to me. I don't have absolute proof (this was a derivative data source, not a government body), nor can I be sure Eunice lived/died/published in the USA, but this seems a good match, odds are this is the one. The last residence in Baltimore, the same city they published in, is a bit good to be a coincidence.

So assuming a death date of 1967:
Guttenberg Australia says "Where an author died after 1954 the copyright period is the life of the author plus seventy years from the end of the year of the author's death."
2037. .

US law says works from 1923-1963 had to have a copyright notice and to renew their copyright in their 28th year (1955).
The copy I have is a 1973 reprint. It claims no copyright, but maybe the 1927 edition did?
If the original contained no copyright notice, then it is public domain in the US now. If it did, then it had to renew it, or it's public domain in the US now. If it was renewed, it's copyright in the US until 2022.

Renewals for 1955 are online [1], [2], and Eunice Goddard is not listed. Yay!

I think the reprints don't count as they are listed as reprints.

So, it should be able to be put on the project Guttenberg site and acesed by US citizens, even though it will be illegal for Australians to do so.

I'm asking Gutenberg US if they can publish the book. Although an American may have to scan the book, and it'll be illegal for me to download it. But at least the masses of US based 12th C costumers could look it up for themselves.

Edit: Alas, Project Gutenberg has replied that they think the fact that it is published in France as well as the US probably means the French copyright stops it being in the public domain.

pyrography woods

I'm summarising what the books on pyrography I got say about which woods are good:

  • sycamore - traditionally used for kitchen implements (spoons, spatulas, breadboards). Good for woodcarving too. Very little difference between grain and nongrain = good. Pale coloured.
  • Birch - very similar to sycamore for pyrography. Doesn't carve as well. Pale coloured, little difference in density with grain. Fairly available as plywood.
  • beech - used for most modern mass produced kitchen implements. "Harder and darker than sycamore with a slightly pinkish hue."
  • horse chestnut - similar in colour to sycamore, but with a less pronounced grain. Softer than sycamore.
  • yew - very hard (longer to burn). Most yew is rather dark, but you can get paler bits. Good for woodturning too.
  • Birds eye maple - pyrographs well, but the feature lumps burn differently
  • Pear - Normally a fairly dark wood, so will need to burn deeply. Grain offers little resistance.
  • Also good: holly, boxwood, lime, canadian maple, english maple, hornbeam
and bad:
  • Oak - so hard it's almost impossible to burn, also rather dark coloured
  • Pine - too much grain
  • Mahogany - dark and grainy
The books also suggest plywood and veneers (check the offcuts bin at a timber merchant they say), and suggest a sampler of veneers as a good way to learn about woods. And now that I read in detail, it says kitchen utensils are a good source of cheap blanks, but to be careful no to do any burning across any joins in breadboards where glue will have been used.

pyrograhy works!

Well after talking the talk in a previous post, I tried the soldering iron on some wooden spoons and:

It is paler than I'd prefer, but I'm happy enough with the results. The wooden spoons had only a little bit of grain to bump my lines. I'm hoping the paleness is due to the wood type, and that I can get other types that burn better to get a darker colour. I hope so, because I haven't got a temperature controller on the soldering iron to turn up.

For those of you who want to try this at home (I let two friends try and they found it quite easy to get started), the wooden spoon were from the local $2 shop, pale coloured, fine grained, no apparent varnish and cheap. You don't get a lot of (flat) space to draw on, but at $1.50 for 3, it's enough to get a feel for the technique.

So now some more practise, try some other woods and a grand search for period pyrography examples, preferably close to the 12th C. (Let me know if you know any, please!)

Austrian lamps are a different shape!

Austrian lamps
Several sets of lamps in this manuscript have an unusual shape - baggy rather than tapered at the bottom like this. I guess this shape would work well enough, but the tapered shape works superbly as a hanging lamp (it sort of self balances). The chains the lamps hang from seem to attach near the bottom of the lamp, so I assume they pass under the baggy bits (presumably there are 3 of them) or there is a fastening at the side that we can't see.

(in order) Fol. 13 (2 lamps), Fol. 27, Fol. 37v (3 lamps) Fol. 39, Fol. 56 (2 lamps), Fol.68, Fol.102v. Periscope book, Saint Erentrud Abbey, Salzburg around 1140 (München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. lat. 15903)

And from annother Austrian manuscript:
De Laudibus sanctae Crucis, Regensburg c1170/75 (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. lat. 14159) fol 4v

From the same page, left to right: censer, lamp, candlestick, lamp sitting on an altar in a church.

Now that my preconception about lamps being just one shape is broken, I'm going to do a survey of lamps by geographical location.

Lamps from other places


Stained Glass window, Chartres Cathedral, 12th C?
We can see the chains on the lamp, I'm not sure why there is a bowl below the lamp. (there shouldn't be drips to catch).

Complete picture somewhere on this section of artserv.

copenhagen psalter England, 1175-1200 (Kongelige Bibliotek, MS Thott 143 2º) .f9v
Yes, the lamp is hovering in mid air, I assume the artist never got back to draw in the strings.

winchester psalter Winchester (Priory of St Swithun or Hyde Abbey); between 1121 and 1161(British Library MS Cotton Nero C IV) f10 Nativity.

St Albans Psalter, St Albans c.1131
p50. The Three Women at the Sepulchre, p48. The Entombment, p28. The Presentation at the Temple

The chains on these lamps are drawn as attached to the middle of the body of the lamp, not the top as in the other english examples.

1160-70 Winchester Morgan Library 619 Scenes from the life of David and Samuel

There appears to be a single chain with a blob on the end hanging down below the lamp. This might be some device to allow lowering of the lamp maybe?

Rome, San Clemente, narthex of the lower church, Miracle at the tomb of St Clement. Wall painting. 1084/1115

What a lovely shape of lamp. Or it could be some kind of censer I suppose, but why would you have 3 of them? You can also just make out some kind of bar or disc where the chains meet and then attaches to the ceiling with one chain.


Santa Maria de Mur, apse, Christ in Majesty. Wall painting. Mid twelfth century(?). Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

Spain (Catalonia)

These ones contrast with the lamps from the st Albans psalter by having their chains attached at the top rim of the lamp.


Send me more examples of 12th C lamps so I can make a better survey. But I can say for now that there are a lot more shapes of lamp above than I expected, even in English examples.

And while we are on the topic of lighting.....


Periscope book, Saint Erentrud Abbey, Salzburg around 1140 (München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. lat. 15903), fol 49v Doubting Thomas.

Also from the first manuscript, what I think is a candelabra. There is a magnificent 11th C one at St Mary's Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany. I've seen other Romanseque ones, both islamic and christian, in museum catalogues, and the general design differs little. One interesting thing to note is that the wheel shape was used as frequently for oil lamps as for candles. In fact I find the candles on the hildesheim one suspicious - most 12th C candle holders were of the dish and prong type, not the socket type which was useless without consistent width candles. Some socket shape candle holders developed from socket shaped oil lamp holders, although I'm not sure the hildesheim one is consistent with that either, so maybe it is just an early example of socketed candle holders.

An example candlestick (the prong type):
Samson on a lion, 1st half 13th C, Northern Germany

Bohemia (?): the guards sleeping at the Sepulchre, from a Gospel Book, MS. Ia folio 49. Late eleventh century. Gniezno Cathedral Library

[right]Rome, San Clemente, narthex of the lower church, Miracle at the tomb of St Clement. Wall painting. 1084/1115

The lamps and whole picture (with more identical candlesticks) we have seen above.

Santa Maria de Tarrasa, apse of the south transept,
Martyrdom and Apotheosis of St Thomas Becket
. Wall painting. c. 1185-1200

I need more examples of candlesticks too, but this tallys with what I've seen in extant examples (I'll dig out links and post them someday if I find time) - these are all of the prong and dish type, no socket shaped holders here. Note that all the candles are in churches (but only a number of the lamps), which backs up what I've been told about other sources of lighting being more common outside the church. Candles were expensive (especially nice smelling beeswax ones), but important in devotional services (i think that Catholic tradition of lighting a candle is a very old one). In a domestic setting, given the choice of a smelly tallow candle or an olive oil lamp, I know which I'd generally choose.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

pyrography update

Since my last post on the subject, I've actualy tried burning some of the wooden objects i have around the house with dad's soldering iron. Not any that might have varnish on the surface - but i've picked up quite a few pale wooden boxes from $2 shops that look to have a fine grain and no varnish, a few scraps from the firewood pile, and assorted other bits.

It was a failure. The firewood was so lumpy and hard i could barely make an impression, let alone draw a straight line. The pale woods almost refused to burn. The soldering iron barely left an impression. I think it might have been too cool. I check his other soldering iron, and it was slightly worse.

I also meanwhile hunted down all the books on pyrography in my local library. They all assume you have already purchased a woodburning tool. I've learnt some neat tricks that will be great if i get something that actually burns the wood to a darker colour than weak tea. I've also learnt that different woods have vastly different surfaces in regards to heat tollerance. Some need the temperature up very high, and will still produce a very pale picture, others burn quite readily. And still others (like pine) have so rough a grain that they are hard to draw straight lines on.

I'm hoping the wood I had was one of the woods that needs a realy high temperature. Because then I can use a wood that needs less, given I can't change the temperature on the soldering iron. Otherwise I'm faced withthe unpleasant prospect of the soldering iron being too cold to do any pyrography.

So new ideas to try (that don't involve much money):

  • wooden spoons - I read somewhere thaat most are sycamore - a perfect low temp pyrography wood.
  • plywood snipets from hardware stores of woods known to be good at low temp
  • pyrography on veg tan leather (chrome is toxic, maybe alum tawed is ok?)
  • heating needles to do pyrography. First try my oil lamp, then over a gas stove?


[Note - I found this in my drafts folder. I thought I'd published it in late September. I suppose I'd better publish it now before I give an update.]

I have wood, I have soldering irons, surely I can do some woodburning? Will the net tell me how? If you dear reader have tried pyrography I'd appreciate advice.

I only have a soldering iron, not a special temperature regulated woodburner, but
this Professional pyrography artist only uses a soldering iron.

period pyrography

Given my normal google fu, that's quite a small list.

One of the tackiest "you can do it too" sites for a craft I've ever seen. Surprisingly they are in Werribee, not America. ($220 for an iron, I don't think so!)

how to:
  • The woodburner - forums. Yes they are selling products, but they also seem to have some interesting info.

Friday, 24 November 2006

Lippoldsberger Evangeliar

The Lippoldsberger Evangeliar (aka Hardehäuser Evangeliar, Lippoldsberger Gospels) was created between 1150 and 1170 in Helmarshausen for The nuns of Lippoldsberg. The book dissapeared/was destroyed by bombs at the end of the 2nd worldwar. Black and white photographs were taken of part of the manuscript in 1932, and one colour copy of the dedication page was made.

A history of the manuscript (in german) and the remaining images of the manuscript can are now online. There aren't many images, but they are quite detailed and lovely. The book must have been really spectacular.

Below are comments on a few selected pages.

Mary and Child

  • An enveloping cloak that also acts as veil covers Mary from waist up.
  • The cloak has some trim on the bottom edges and also head hole.
  • The cloak could concievably have corners , but can't be sure.
  • Under this a calf length tunic made from patterned fabric. (some sort of repeating rondell or vaugely circular motif)
  • The hem of the tunic is decorated with trim.
  • A white/whiteish coloured floor length layer (chemise?) is under the tunic.

Birth of Jesus
  • plaits/locks of hair escaping veil?
  • Tunic decorated at collar and cuff
  • sleeves only flare slightly

Dedication page
  • As far as I can tell this page is a modern copy, not a photo of the original.
  • 3 nuns in the border and the abess in the bottom of the picture
  • The nuns wear blue or black tunics (habbits) - the way those and their veils alternate in colour makes me think maybe they are all black, and the colour is just used to show borders better
  • The habbits look to be generic loose tunics with slightly flared sleeves
  • The veils are 2 piece - a white section (barbette?) close to head and neck, and a dark cloth that sits on top of this.

  • We can't see much but Mary's cloak, which also acts as veil
  • note the cloak has corners at front bottom

The 3 Magi
  • large square decoration about the collar's like I've seen on several extant examples. One is the Sicilian King William II's alb. I was going to write more on this, but I think it deserves it's own post later.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. lat. 14159

The manuscript (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. lat. 14159)was made at Regensburg Abbey (not far from Salzburg, Austria) c1170/75. It measures 31cm by 21.5 cm and has 188 pages. Pictures of most (all?) of the illustrated pages can be found on Bildindex.

It's a lovely manuscript full of nice details, so I have to share it! Or at least some of the fantastic Austrian Women's fashions in it. I've only selected the pictures that are most interesting to me (mostly shorter skirts) there are more pictures (includign more women) on Bildindex.

Thanks to Wencenedl for help interpreting captions and identifying biblical stories

fol.1r Ecclessia & crosstree

  • Well the modern german translation calls it a "crosstree", but it's a tree of life in the shape of a crucifix.
  • Ecclessia is the personification of the church. This doesn't seem to be a typical pose.
  • Ecclessia wears a calf length tunic with somewhat flared sleeves.
  • The tunic is belted at the waist (you can see the overlap of the tunic, but not the belt)
  • Trim is present at hem, cuffs and neck
  • Her hair is braided, but I can't see other headwear under her crown, but it could be the poor angle.

fol.2rTamar & signet ring & staff from Judah, Joseph & Potiphar's wife
  • wikipedia on Tamar: Judah promised to her that his third son, Shelah, would become her husband. This promise was not fulfilled, and Tamar disguised herself as a temple prostitute and offered herself to her father-in-law Judah. She claimed his staff and signet as pledge of payment. When she later became pregnant and Judah accused her of fornication, she produced the staff and signet and identified Judah himself as the father."
  • Potifar's wife is grabbing a piece of Joseph's (he of the dreamcoat) clothing to use as evidence to falsely accuse Joseph of rape.
  • Tamar wears a plainish long dress with flared sleeves edged with trim. A veil covers her head.
  • Potiphar's wife's tunic is calf length, belted at the waist with flared sleeves. Tunic is trimmed at cuffs and hem, and possibly a thin line at the neck too. Her hair is plaited, but there does appear to be something on her head too - a beanie hat?
  • Wencenedl notes that Tamar is dressed as a prostitute (veiled!) and pontifar's wife should be dressed as a respectable wife. As both are on the same page, it's reasonable to expect the artist to have compared them.....And yet Tamar is more conservative, veiled (even as a prostitute).

fol.3r Jael kills Sisera, Rahab hangs a red rope in the window
  • Jael killed a fleeing enemy army captain (by driving a tent peg through his head as he slept), thus preventing him returning with a new army.
  • Rahab (a former prostitute) hid Jewish spies investigating the siege of Jericho. On the spies instructions she hung a red cord out the window,and thus her family was spared from massacre when the siege was broken.
  • Jael (with the lovely chisel and mallet action) has one of her sleeves tucked back behind her elbow as she works
  • Both ladies wear small beanie hats over veils (or possibly wimples) although Jael's is the classic shape, and Rahab's is split at the front like 2 leaves
  • Rahab's dress has Byzantine influenced decoration on the front panel
  • Again there appears to be no important difference in dress code between the (at some stage reformed) prostitute and the respectable householder.

fol.3v Jephta sacrificers his daughter
  • This appears to confirm the idea that unmarried women/girls would wear their hair loose while older ones would tie it up or cover it with a veil.

fol.4r Elias and the widow of Zarephta
  • Wikipedia (that wonderful source of dubious info) says " the prophet Elijah, .... multiplied the meal and oil of the widow of Zarephath (Sarepta) and raised her son from the dead"
  • She is dressed in a calf length tunic, belted at the waist. Trim is present at hem and cuffs.
  • She wears a veil over the dress.

fol.4v Judith kills Holofernes
  • Judith is a jewish folk hero, seducing an enemy army captain (Holofernes) so she could kil him in his sleep. (look at teh parallels with Jael)
  • Judith wears a tunic with flared sleeves, belted waist and decoration at collar and cuff.
  • Her lower body is not visible.
  • The cuff of the garment under her tunic (chemise or underdress) is decorated with trim.
  • She wears a veil, but it does not cover the decoration at the collar (so does Rahab above). I've supposed several other examples of dreses without decoration at collar were such because a veil rendered the decoration imposible to see/draw, but this disproves this as a constant fact. (it may still be true sometimes).
  • There is annother man on this page (not pictured - follow link) wearing a beanie hat, this one flat across the bottom.

fol.5r Superbia vanquished by Humilitas
  • Superbia or Pride is one of the personified vices, and Humilitas/Humility her opposite virtue.
  • Look at the lovely depictions of braided hair. Looks just like a 3 strand plait.
  • Humility wears a long tunic with flared cuffs. It is decorated at cuff and collar. It is probably belted at the waist. She wears a beanie hat over her plaits (doesn't seem to be a veil) , that again vees above the forehead.
  • What is visible of Superbia's clothing is almost identical, except no hat.
  • Medieval bestiaries (eg Aberdeen bestiary) draw links between a peacock's brilliant plumage and vanity, showing a consciousness of pride of appearance, and yet Superbia is not dressed any more vainly than Humilitas. While Pride takes in a much greater scope than simple narcissism, it does include it. So I find it surprising that this simple to show symptom of one type of pride isn't used to help build the stereotype of Pride. They just don't seem to have chosen this option. So I can't consequently draw any links between Humility's clothes and what was modest clothing of the day. Damn.

fol.5v The mystical Paradise (Not pictured - follow link)
  • Supporters include several virtues wearing clothing in the same style as the above examples. I haven't included them as we can only see their upper bodies.
  • The central figure (Jesus?) has a nice example of a beanie hat that vees at the forehead.

fol.6r Cross filled with people (Not pictured - follow link)
  • Several female supporters (possibly virtues?) in the same mould as the figures above.
  • Hair worn loose, only upper body visible.

Other pages from this manuscript on bildindex:
fol.1v, fol.2v, fol.8v, fol.9r, fol.46v, fol.187v, fol.188v.

  • This style does seem to be consistant with the other manuscripts of the area and time. (i'll try to explain why I think this in a later post hopefully.
  • There doesn't seem to be any clothing conventions to mark women as prositutes in this time and place.
  • New dress features: beanie hats that aren't flat along their bottom edge.