Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   The fleur de lis ... in a wider spectrum (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23384)

fernando 21st November 2017 06:13 PM

The fleur de lis ... in a wider spectrum
 
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I would like to show here a little statue; aledgedly one of the most original sculptoric representatins of the XIV century and the most notable representation of a medieval warrior of the Gothic period in Portugal.
It depicts a knight with a lowered visor helm, armed with a mace of arms, a solid armour with a chain shirt, spurs, sheathed sword and shield, mounting a horse, duly prepaired for both combat and joust.
The knight is Domingos Joannes who, having gone to battle in France during the XIII century, later returned to his home village, having a chapel built to lodge his and his wife tombs. It is in this chapel that the little statue, 72 cms. tall, is located; a sculpture made some time around half XIV century by Master Pero, emigrated to Portugal (probably) from Aragon. As we may see, the heraldry shown in the knight's shield is a Saint Andrew cross with four fleur de lis.
If in one hand we know that the fleur de lis had a great predominance in France, in the other, is not less true that its symbolic roots are lost in time. It is in the chronicles (Mirande Bruce-Mitford) that the fleur de lis being symbolicaly identified with the iris and the lily, had its actual name created when Luis VII the young (1147) was the first king to adopt it for his emblem, using it to seal his patent-letters and, as in the period Luis was written Loys or Louis, such name would have evoluted from “fleur-de-louis” (Louis flower) to “fleur-de-lis”, represented with its three petals Faith, Wisdom and Value.
Notheworthy Sir Baden Powel, the founder of Scouts and a free mason, would have elected the fleur de lis from Masonry symbolism and made it the Scouts universal symbol.
However such symbol was known since earlier times by Portuguese Monarchs and princes, once practically since King Dom Afoso Henriques and specially as from the the end of XIII cenrury, the lily converted or stylized appears in force in Portuguese coats of arms, with all symbolism and inherent substract; such caused by the Arab influence, whose had imported this symbolic figure from Egipt, taking to Mauritania (the country of moors), and then coming to impose it in the Iberin Peninsula, practically since the VIII century, when the conqueror Tarik invaded it.


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Ibrahiim al Balooshi 22nd November 2017 04:48 PM

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Some where I have a FDL on a chart worth looking at~Noted as a French stamp pre revolution and also said to be a German mark... but also Birmingham as I recall... :shrug:

See The Royal Navy Cutlass

Quote "Prior to 1800 the cutlass hilt was in the
form of a figure of eight or double disc, the grip was a cylinder of wrapped steel, the blade plain and straight, (mine is grooved)
and stamped with a ‘Fleur de lis’mark,probably (T Hollier 1720-1740) length varied, but around 28 to 29 inches (71-74cm)"Unquote.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 22nd November 2017 05:07 PM

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In fact it is not at all clear which version of the FDL is correct~ perhaps they are all to some degree, however, a treatise on the subject rolls out the various concepts at ~

http://www.heraldica.org/topics/fdl.htm

The window below is shown for interest.. and carries the following detail Quote"Stained glass window in the shape of a fleur-de-lys, Bourges cathedral, 15th c. Note the various themes: the Trinity, which the 3 petals were understood to recall, is represented; angels are bearing the shield as they are supporters of the arms of France, the dove descending from heaven recalls the legend of the baptism of Clovis when a dove brought the sacred ointment to Saint Remigius."Unquote.

Philip 24th November 2017 06:43 AM

Fernando, don't the arms of the Cross of the Order of Aviz terminate in fleurs-de-lys?

fernando 24th November 2017 11:02 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Fernando, don't the arms of the Cross of the Order of Aviz terminate in fleurs-de-lys?

Yes of course, Philip; as do those of the Order of Santiago and also others.
It seems as the lilly symbol was disputed by both Secular and Religious powers, the values it envolved being most appealing to reinvidicate. Only that its adoption by French royalty, added by the impact of its french new-naming, gave it more repercussion.
On the other hand, my hero Domingos Joannes had the Flor de Lis in his heraldry but the Order he represented was that of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, as seen in his tomb with the correspondent mantle and sword pommel.


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Madnumforce 24th November 2017 12:01 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
In fact it is not at all clear which version of the FDL is correct~ perhaps they are all to some degree, however, a treatise on the subject rolls out the various concepts at ~

http://www.heraldica.org/topics/fdl.htm

The window below is shown for interest.. and carries the following detail Quote"Stained glass window in the shape of a fleur-de-lys, Bourges cathedral, 15th c. Note the various themes: the Trinity, which the 3 petals were understood to recall, is represented; angels are bearing the shield as they are supporters of the arms of France, the dove descending from heaven recalls the legend of the baptism of Clovis when a dove brought the sacred ointment to Saint Remigius."Unquote.


I was rather suspicious of this style of "remplage" (don't know the name in English, it's the sculpted stonework inside a gothic window bay), so I looked around. The Fleur de lys is an unusual motif in architecture, at least so proemininent, but when you see a shot of the whole top of the window bay, you understand much better why it's so proeminent and obvious. That chapel had been paid and built by Jacques Coeur, then "minister of finance" of the King of France Charles VII, and one of the richest man of the realm (that's how he got appointed as minister: he was the one actually loaning money to the king), and you see the super-large and super-clear fleur de lys, surrounded by two hearts. Coeur is French for heart. This remplage is a political statement of how close he his to the king, and how legitimate and powerful. But it didn't do him any good: his power was threatening the authority of the king, so he ended trialed and sentenced for crimes he probably did not commit, and much of his wealth was seized by the king.

In the very same cathedral, in another chapel, there is another remplage shaped in fleurs de lys, of a much more sober style, but I have no crunchy story for this one.

Jim McDougall 27th November 2017 06:37 AM

It seems there has been a great deal of discussion and consternation over the symbolism of the fleur de lis, and which has been a topic in a couple of concurrent threads. It is good to have this thread to discuss the broader symbolic and historic values of the FDL (fluer de lis) without major detraction from the central topics of the other threads.

While it is of course most commonly recognized that the fleur de lis is readily acknowledged as the most prevalent symbol of France, it seems that it has been present in many other symbolic and heraldic contexts outside France.

For our purposes, one of the key factors bringing our attention to the FDL, has been how it applies to presence on weaponry as motif or other markings. While the history is of course intriguing, in the instances of weapons being examined, its more immediate parlance is more pertinent than the broader history of the FDL. For example its use on English blades.

What has been shown in discussions is that the mark of the FDL on a blade need not signify it is necessarily French, though that instance may be of course compelling.

With that in mind, the case of the FDL symbolically may also well have religious connotation rather than national, as in Christian symbolism, the FDL often is referring to the Virgin Mary, and the three petals the Holy Trinity. This context is well shown by Ibrahiim in his entry (#3).

We have seen that the FDL symbolically is seen in heraldic context in many countries beyond France including the Balkans, Italy and Portugal. With the deeper antiquity of the symbol quite unclear, it seems that mostly medieval period representations and apocryphal lore leave mostly clouded perspective on the development or earliest use of the FDL.

These factors as noted, suggest that the presence of the FDL on a weapon, there are certainly other mitigating elements which must be considered beyond the FDL itself, such as well shown in the example of the architectural context shown by Madnum in the previous post.

fernando 27th November 2017 11:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
It seems there has been a great deal of discussion and consternation over the symbolism of the fleur de lis, and which has been a topic in a couple of concurrent threads. It is good to have this thread to discuss the broader symbolic and historic values of the FDL (fluer de lis) without major detraction from the central topics of the other threads.

Dear Jim, where you find consternation, i would not :o.
This thread was indeed started to 'make a case' in that, the all time iris/lily symbol was present, for one, in armour, other than a mark on sword blades, which virtual connotation might have in several cases been relegated to less, may i say, romantic horizons, like those of an appealing trade mark. Notwithstanding (my) unknown evidence that ancient swords already carried this symbol; and that would be my ignorance ... always correctable :cool:.
Hence this not been an arms related topic but, nevertheless, an armour related one ;).

Jim McDougall 27th November 2017 10:59 PM

Its all in perception. While I see the thread on the FDL here as extremely informational, especially with the initial material on this symbol in use in Portugal indeed the topic could be perceived by some as historical or heraldic, and perhaps not related to weapons.

However, indeed the discussion on the FDL is pertinent toward weaponry as armorial bearings are among the varied symbolism which might be represented using this particular symbol. We have established in some of the discussions mentioned on other threads that actually while the FDL is almost instantly associated with France, it was clearly used in other contexts in many representations.

In some discussions, these aspects of variation might be perceived as distracting in examination of a particular weapon, despite those aspects being factors in evaluating the proper context as applied.

It does seem that in discussions, those reading will often see elements brought in as relevant or perhaps not, just as the character of the discussion may seem one way or another.

I think sometimes certain details can sometimes be lost when important material concerned on a topic is amidst a discussion under another heading and as in this case, it is more directly accessible.

fernando 28th November 2017 11:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Its all in perception.

If i may Jim, not so in perception, judging by your granting it different perspectives yourself. But i did my best, atempting that this topic comprehension was granted by its title.
But thinking of perception, i take it for me that it resides in the same tenure as discernment; a major key to open the antechamber of lucidity, with which one perceives the degree of distraction (or detraction as per #7) and such other fluctuations.

Best

Victrix 28th November 2017 05:00 PM

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Perhaps someone familiar with sword makers’ marks from Toledo can explain why one mark associated with Juan Martinez is what appears to be a fleur-de-lis? Did he have French origins or does it symbolize something other than France? Some argue that this was not his mark, but some other unknown blade smith. What differentiates this mark from Martinez’s often copied half moon mark?

http://rcin.org.pl/Content/54821/WA...Juan-Mart_I.pdf

fernando 28th November 2017 06:03 PM

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Hi Victrix,
As exposed in current discussions, it is only that the fleur-de-lis achieved more popularity in France and not that it necessarily has to do only with that nation.
In the case of Spanish sword smiths, as in this case, you may relate such symbol with the heraldry of Spain, where the arms of the Bourbons figure in the Spanish flag.
Concerning the for-the-lis symbol in Juan Martinez blades, there is old solid evidence that he (also) used this mark. Whether it was his personal symbol, a quality seal or the mark of his status of ESPADERO DEL REY, a honorific title for smiths granted by the crown, is subject of discussion held in THIS THREAD, namely in post #3.


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Victrix 28th November 2017 06:57 PM

Thank you Fernando, that’s most helpful. I take it that this coat of arms for Spain dates to around the year 1700 when Philip, Duke of Anjou became king Philip V of Spain?

fernando 28th November 2017 07:44 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Thank you Fernando, that’s most helpful. I take it that this coat of arms for Spain dates to around the year 1700 when Philip, Duke of Anjou became king Philip V of Spain?

It seems plausible, although the Bourbons also reigned in Navarra in a prior century. But the flag not being a well succeeded example, i would remind that Jehan Lermite in his "Le passetemps", lists a number of Toledo smiths and his marks in a rather explicit manner, and mentions that Juan Martinez has marked his blades with a crowned fleur de liz before using other symbols. Lermite has been in Toledo around 1600.

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Victrix 28th November 2017 09:44 PM

Many thanks, Fernando. Fascinating subject. It was a pleasant surprise to see the punzones de espadero in the other post you linked to. The statue at the top of this thread is fantastic!

fernando 28th November 2017 10:14 PM

:cool:


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