Saturday, September 15, 2018

Items Of An Age

I am picking up where I left off yesterday with the exhibit at the Museum of History. This head carving in stone dates between 1275-1325, and is thought to show Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. While Edward Longshanks gets a reputation in history as an ill tempered fellow, he was in fact devoted to his wife. Upon her death, he ordered crosses erected at each place where her funeral cortege rested on the road from Lincoln back to London. Stone heads like this were often found in religious architecture afterwards.

This tapestry, from right to left, was made in Alsace between 1440-1460, and depicts the seasonal work of peasants. It comes from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Seen here from two angles is a Tuscan chest, around 1400-1425. It's a local contribution to the exhibit, on loan from the National Gallery of Canada. It is gilded gesso on wood.

This plate is tin-glazed earthenware, dated back around 1450. It is decorated with a coat of arms that indicates it probably belonged to the household of Rene Valjois, Duc d'Anjou. His governing responsibilities during his lifetime included Naples, Piedmont, and Provence.

Medieval armour was found in this display case, including a sallet helmet, a bevor (neck guard), and aventail chainmail. They date to the 14th and 15th centuries.

This large tapestry was a bit difficult in terms of photographing. Dated circa 1475-1500, it is another work from the Victoria and Albert Museum. It depicts the Battle of Roncevaux, with Charlemagne's nephew Roland battling King Marsile in the midst of the 778 battle in the Pyrenees. 

These are armour gauntlets, replicas in this case. Two staffers were close by if one wanted to try them. I just wanted the shot of them together.

This too is a contemporary reproduction of a suit of armour, belonging to the museum itself. I imagine it was likely assembled specifically for this exhibit.


  1. ...a part of history that I have little knowledge of.

  2. Hello William, thanks for this interesting post. The tapestry is beautiful but the armor is my favorite by far! Have a great day. Jo

  3. Very interesting exhibit. A very shining suit of armour

  4. Wonderful post about this interesting exhibition.

  5. Hello, wonderful exhibit. I love the plate and the armour. Happy weekend to you!

  6. I can't believe you didn't try one of the gauntlets William, I think it would have suited ☺ It's an impressive exhibition.

  7. I really like today's selection, especially the mask and the plate. Amazing how these treasures get spread all over the world.


  8. Can you imagine having to wear that heavy armor? Fascinating! :-)

  9. All the exhibits look so familiar to me...
    : )

  10. I think I wouldn't be able to move inside a suit of armour! It must be terribly heavy and uncomfortable.

  11. Really?? They let people try on those gauntlets? I'm amazed.

  12. WE've always spent tome money and effort on fighting. Each age had it's technology. These are interesting examples of their defense.

  13. @Tom: my area of expertise is more recent.

    @Jo: you're welcome.

    @Nancy: it's well put together.

    @Jan: thanks!

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Grace: I'll have to remedy that the next time I visit. I did try a gauntlet at the Armour exhibit over at the War Museum.

    @Janis: there was a lot to see.

    @DJan: it would slow anyone down.

    @Catarina: not so much to me.

    @Marleen: I would think so.

    @Sharon: given that they're replicas done in the current day, yes. They wouldn't let anyone handle period artifacts in such a way.

    @Red: true!

  14. Fascinating history ~ great series of photos ~ everything comes back again in some fashion or other ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  15. Very interesting. I find tapestries awesome. Almost a living picture show. Exciting and also bloody times but again when are they not?
    And yes the pups got plenty treats

  16. Great exhibition, the tapestries are beautiful.

  17. I like the story about Edward's devotion to his wife and how he ordered crosses to be erected at each place where her funeral cortege rested on the road from Lincoln back to London - it is a tale that I did not know.

  18. A fabulous display! Imagine walking in that armour!

  19. @Carol: true!

    @MB: good!

    @Sami: I agree.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Rosemary: I've heard it before. The Eleanor Crosses, as they're called.

    @RedPat: that would get tiresome!

  20. A wonderful exhibit. I like the suit of armour, it's quite impressive.

  21. I agree, about the suit of armour!

  22. Tapestries are amazing, all those stitches.

  23. Interesting about the stone head.
    I can't imagine wearing a suit of armor!!

  24. This exhibition is quite impressive.

  25. I think the tapestries are beautiful, but there is such a good selection of exhibits.
    Good to see William, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  26. What an interesting walk back in time. The suit of armor seems very effective at providing protection but I can't imagine anyone being able to actually move and do anything in it. No sneak attacks with this getup.

  27. The 15th century tapestry is so beautiful. I've seen the remains of one or two Eleanor Crosses on my travels over the years:)

  28. How did they ever move in that armor?

  29. After looking at those pierces of armor, I was wondering the same as a previous commenter - HOW did anyone manage to not only move in this gear, but also to ride a horse and carry a very heavy and large lance!

  30. love armor, i wonder how folks wore that? i bet it was so heavy. always joke with the hubby that casket iron pots are so heavy, that it makes sense why women were so strong. way cool. ( ;

  31. Those tapestries are exquisite, as is the Duc's plate. Lovely!

  32. @Bill: it is!

    @Jennifer: it's quite a work of art.

    @Maywyn: that's true.

    @Happyone: I couldn't!

    @Michelle: it is indeed.

    @Jan: you're welcome.

    @Kay: definitely not.

    @Rosie: I would like to see one.

    @Norma: who knows?

    @Beatrice: that's what I thought.

    @Beth: much too heavy.

    @Klara: I liked them.

    @Jeanie: thanks!