Friday, April 20, 2012

Looking at Fete at Bermondsey

Lets play" Name that UPO" That is Unidentified Painted Object! While Looking at this image the other day for evidence that men's sleeves were tied in (no luck, thank you Daniel Rosen now I have to rebuild most of my wardrobe) I noticed several things that I could not identify for sure. In

File:Joris Hoefnagel Fete at Bermondsey c 1569.png There is a yellow dog, two children and a woman breast feeding, between them is a man with an object on his back. My first thought was that this was a large straw hat tared or dyed black/gray, then I thought Buckler (huge one, perhaps a shield) when I thought that there was a spike in the center of the crown/boss depending.

As I pondered what that object was I looked further at what he is holding in his hand resting on his shoulder. Again at first I thought that it was a sword, that he was holding by the blade (hopefully scabbard-ed) then I saw that he had a rapier at his hip. So what is that thing? There is apparently another one on the shoulder of the man in the background walking next to the couple on the horse. If it is a walking stick then why is the walking man not using it? A torch? Why carry it around? A club? At a Fete? A spindel? Why are two men carrying them at a party?

So I though I would poll the audience and see if anyone can come up with an identification of the shield/hat or the other ball on a stick thing. What do you think?

After discussing it with many people on the Elizabethan costume page, I think that Daniel Rosen has hit on the solution. That the large circular objects are Shields (giant Bucklers if you wish) and the men are servants (presumed partially due to their being in blue) and that they are holding the sword of their Master, standing next to them. Sort of a cross between a bodyguard and a man servant.  Here is an example from another painting.

Thoughts or comments?

1 comment:

  1. That looks totally reasonable to me Eric. I'd guess he's the servant for the gentlemen with the large hat and long coat (walking just to the right of the breastfeeding woman).