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Old 2nd December 2023, 08:44 PM   #1
awdaniec666
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Default The Spekulatius Cookie Hussar

The Spekulatius cookie has been an integral part of christmas pastries in central Europe since the middle ages. I recently acquired a beautiful mold for such cookies which appears to be very old judging by material and style. That depiction of an armed rider on this pastry seems to have tradition in certain areas but I didn´t find anything certain. Nevertheless I know my stuff about sabers but when it comes to uniforms I´m out.

From which region and era can this hussar probably be? My best guess is Austro-Hungary or Poland-Lithuania in the 1st half of the 18th century. Any ideas welcome - maybe someone recognizes certain details which are specific for some known person or a regiment.
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Old 2nd December 2023, 08:48 PM   #2
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A nice thread for the Miscellania Forum .
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Old 3rd December 2023, 10:56 AM   #3
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That looks like a great mold and certainly seasonal! The uniform looks very 18thC and the 7 year war springs to mind. The sabre guard looks slightly Polish but may just be an artist interpretation. Noteworthy is the wig, the amount of decoration on the uniform, and what appears to be a fokos axe tucked into the boot. The latter suggest Hungarian-Croatian nationality but the item could also be a pipe (?) which could suggest that the hussar might also be Prussian? I googled Spekulatius and found the below:
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Old 3rd December 2023, 11:19 AM   #4
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I would say the fokos indicates more Carpathian. So Slovakian or Transylvanian.
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Old 3rd December 2023, 11:47 AM   #5
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I would say the fokos indicates more Carpathian. So Slovakian or Transylvanian.
As long as they wore wigs there in 18thC. I think further East it was common to wear a plaited tail hanging down in front of each ear and one tail in the back? Or maybe that was just the privates troopers whilst the officers wore wigs?
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Old 16th December 2023, 01:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replies. The item in questions is a pipe, not an axe (/fokos) - I wonder, are pipes pathognomonic for Prussians?

The wig in question could also be curly hair to me...

As for the Speculatius: Don´t believe everything on the internet word for word, this pastry is known, made and eaten in the entirety of Germany, not just Westphalia. It´s also known in Poland and the Czech R. for example.

Last edited by awdaniec666; 16th December 2023 at 01:27 PM. Reason: added hair
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Old 30th December 2023, 08:29 AM   #7
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I also thought of Prussia but historically their Husars have a skull as a cockade. Like Field Marshall August von Mackensen

2. My thoughts go back to Austrian husars and the reason why:

Netherlands doesn't have a real historical tradition of sweets ( be it religious or cultural wise).

For that one has to go to Belgium, Dutch Limburg and the west to southern part of Germany and not to forget Austria.
Think also the resemblance with Aachener Print !!!

And looking at the uniform and type of sword, Baron Franz von der Trenck comes to my mind who was an officer in service of Maria Theresa of Austria/ the Habsburg Empire.
At a time when parts of Germany, the Austrian Netherlands (parts of the Netherlands and Belgium) belonged to the same empire.

Milos Crnojanski book 'migration"/ German "Panduren" describes these men coming to Brussels and Mechelen in Belgium during the War of the Austrian Succession.
August Flament, chronicle writer of Maastricht also states that Caberg, part of the town at the Belgium border, got sacked by "Croats", being actually pandurs.

Resemblance with the uniform is clear, although I think the cockade is little "artistic"freedom or fantasy by the designer of the plate/mold, as the husars in these parts where this piece of candy comes from do have either Prussian cocackes or others ( French, Spanish)

So fom the time these kind of candy were made, , coincides with having these kind of fancy Habsburgian uniforms around. And lets not forget Germany and Netherlands as we know now did not exist a couple of centuries ago one has the think in the empires of that time 16, 17th century.
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Old 30th December 2023, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
Thanks for your replies. The item in questions is a pipe, not an axe (/fokos) - I wonder, are pipes pathognomonic for Prussians?

The wig in question could also be curly hair to me...

As for the Speculatius: Don´t believe everything on the internet word for word, this pastry is known, made and eaten in the entirety of Germany, not just Westphalia. It´s also known in Poland and the Czech R. for example.
Hussars were often illustrated smoking a pipe. Maybe something they got from the Turks? In France General Lassalle declared that “a hussar that does not smoke is a bad soldier!”. They worked hard and played hard. They had a certain reputation for pleasure seeking and womanizing. Empress Maria Theresa anecdotally had hussar lovers.

The kind of rolls seen in front is typical of 18thC wigs. It’s certainly a wig.

Austro-Hungarian hussars were the most renowned in 18thC, when they were copied by the admiring Prussians. In the 19thC many other European countries created light cavalry units in Hussar style.
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Old 30th December 2023, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I also thought of Prussia but historically their Husars have a skull as a cockade. Like Field Marshall August von Mackensen

.
Apologies; forgot to attach his pics with regards to the uniform and cockade mentioned
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Old 14th January 2024, 03:00 PM   #10
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Just one correction GP: Only few or one hussar unit had the skull ("black hussars") which meant they won´t grant mercy upon the enemy as far as I know. It was a more or less new thing dating back not that long ago. One of those units was stationed in Danzig (Leibhusaren?) at the turn of the 19/20 th century.

Maybe the depicted hussar is some kind of Protohussar and the artist having no specific unit or person in mind.
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Old 14th January 2024, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for replying Victrix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
but the item could also be a pipe (?) which could suggest that the hussar might also be Prussian
I wondered if that is the case - but I doubt it to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
Austro-Hungarian hussars were the most renowned in 18thC, when they were copied by the admiring Prussians.
In fact the Prussians and French did not copy them in the beginning but "imported" Hungarian hussars to begin with. With those Hungarians came the first hussar sabers into those countries which were then copied, as f.e. the Prussian Model 1742 which was then copied by Sweden as M1757 and the UK as the Model 1788. The hussar depicted here has a saber with a guard resembling other than beforementioned sabers - namely Polish sabers. I wonder if that´s a purposely detail.
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Old 14th January 2024, 05:06 PM   #12
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The edit option should stay available for a little longer...
The skull has been first used by the prussian hussar regiment nr. 8 (belling) in 1758.
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Old 16th January 2024, 09:55 PM   #13
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Here in the Netherlands we have a long tradition of speculaas. Traditionally the image was carved in wood. I've never seen them in stone.
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Old 2nd February 2024, 06:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
The edit option should stay available for a little longer...
The skull has been first used by the prussian hussar regiment nr. 8 (belling) in 1758.
some more info:

https://www.kaisersbunker.com/pt/pelzmutze.htm

and 2 more pics
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Old 2nd February 2024, 09:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
Just one correction GP: Only few or one hussar unit had the skull ("black hussars") which meant they won´t grant mercy upon the enemy as far as I know. It was a more or less new thing dating back not that long ago. One of those units was stationed in Danzig (Leibhusaren?) at the turn of the 19/20 th century..
More on skull and bones:

The Knights Templar organisation, active from the 12th until their demise in 1307, adopted a skull-and-crossbones flag to identify ships belonging to their vast fleet. The later Knights of Malta, made up of many former Templars and using the same flag, became known for piracy. AKA the Skull of Sidon.

https://www.crystalinks.com/skullsidon.html

It is widely believed that the skull and crossbones was first used by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages.The Templars or Knights Templar, occasionally documented as the Order of the Temple, The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon was the largest charity for nearly two centuries, especially after it was officially endorsed by the Catholic Church in 1129. Its pacifist members became known for many good deeds, and also for the supposed introduction of the Skull and Crossbones.
According to Masonic legend, the skull and crossbones are the bones of Jackes de Molay. In an effort to seize the riches of the Templars, the Church ordered that the society be disbanded. deMolay, the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights,was burned alive by the Church. When three Templars came looking for his bones, they found only his skull and femurs. By this time the Templars had become accomplished mariners, and the skull and femurs of the last Grand Master became their nautical symbol – the Jolly Roger.
The legend of the Skull of Sidon also contains some clues to the Jolly Roger’s relationship with the Knights Templar. The Lord of Sidon, himself a Templar, lost his love when she was young.On the night of her burial,the Templar snuck to back to her grave and dug up her body. At the same time, he heard a voice instructing him to return after nine months to find a son. Nine months later, the Templar dug up her grave to find a head resting on the skeleton’s femurs. The same voice told him to guard the head, because it would bless all of his endeavors, and defeat any enemies before it. The symbol of the son, or the skull and crossbones, became the protecting genius for the Templar.
What should be noted here is that the port of Sidon had always nested pirates. Therefore, the skull and the crossbones could have been used as a symbol for the pirate flag before the time of the Knights Templar.

Use of the symbol as a military insignia began with the cavalry of the Prussian army under Frederick the Great. Frederick formed Husaren-Regiment Nr. 5 (von Ruesch), a Hussar regiment commanded by Colonel von Ruesch. These Hussars adopted a black uniform with a Totenkopf emblazoned on the front of their mirlitons and wore it on the field in the War of Austrian Succession and in the Seven Years' War.

In 1808, when the regiment was reformed into Leib-Husaren Regiments Nr.1 and Nr.2, the Totenkopf remained a part of the uniform. During the Napoleonic Wars, when Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, was killed in battle, his troops changed the colour of their uniforms to black or apple green, with a Totenkopf on their shakos in mourning their dead leader. Other sources claim that the "Black Brunswickers" were so equipped while Friedrich Wilhelm of Brunswick lived, as a sign of revenge on the French.

The skull continued to be used throughout the Prussian and Brunswick Armed forces until 1918, and some of the stormtroopers that led the last German offensives on the Western Front in 1918 used skull badges.

Two of the well-known units were the Black Hussars and the Brunswickers. The Brunswickers at one time actually had the words "Momento Mori" written on the badge itself. In other words, the skull and bones had the words "Momento Mori written right under it on their uniform. Here is a 19th-century comment on the badge from a Scottish magazine:
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Old 3rd February 2024, 12:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
some more info:

https://www.kaisersbunker.com/pt/pelzmutze.htm

and 2 more pics
Reminds me of "Are we the baddies?" by Mitchell & Webb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToKcmnrE5oY
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Apologies; forgot to attach his pics with regards to the uniform and cockade mentioned
just found a colorized picture of the man and his uniform and some more of the princess Viktoria Luise
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:27 PM   #18
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as on hussars...it seems to be going back to the Balkans...

Border soldiers or granizars / grenzer...local lads protecting the borders and being a buffer. A little different to the Pandurs but similar in roles and resposibilities.
Some reading ; a book by Major General of the Hussars Charles-Emmanuel de Warnery "Remarks On Cavalry "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussar
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Old 4th February 2024, 09:04 PM   #19
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some more pics where you can see how the Hussar uniform developed through the centuries and countries...
from Hungary, Serbia, France, to Prussia, Poland and Russia
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Old 9th February 2024, 04:13 PM   #20
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This is truly a remarkable thread! and has a wonderfully comprehensive discourse on the 'hussar' phenomenon of the 18th century, the romantic flamboyance of whom, thrilled and intrigued all of Europe.

I will say the introduction title is somewhat misleading with the 'cookie' description, but becomes well understood and placed as we read through the thread. I honestly had never known what a SPEKULATIUS cookie was, but in looking it up......absolutely fascinating!

These traditional cookies seem to be part of early Christmas traditions in the Netherlands in the mid 17th century, possibly earlier. The term apparently means 'German spice cookie' (uh, sweet tooth kickin in!).

Children who were well behaved received batches of these cookies in their shoes on the eve of 5th of December, and anxiously would look in the morning for what 'Sinterclaas' would have left for them.

With the tales of the hussars rich in the lore of the times, it would be well understood that military tradition and themes would be the subject matter in many things. I think of the 'nutcracker' soldiers.

The content of this thread has been more than inspiring, and frankly the baked goods connection here keeps reminding me of schiavona hilt mid European saber c. 1600 (Konipsky & Moudry, 1991. p.21) which has a pommel likened to a pastry from these regions called a 'kosarice'.

The esoteric PANDOUR topic is another brought up here that deserves far more attention (as GP has brought into the thread here, #7).

Just wanted to thank everyone for the great insights and entries here!
Goes to show we never know what contexts will bring us amazing learning on these military themed obscurities.
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Old 11th February 2024, 11:28 AM   #21
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a nice addition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8kiiLSI0sA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pdoRA9WWas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Z08UaIXZQ
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Old 26th March 2024, 01:25 PM   #22
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for those interested, some more and one of the first husar pics from a drawing book on uniforms 1770 -1796
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Old 26th March 2024, 09:07 PM   #23
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fact that Husars were and are always popular can be seen in the fact that next to dressing kids in their uniform ( I only got a navy sailor one from my granddad when I was 4...☻☻☻ ) can be seen in tiles ( old Dutch one and Italian), vintage commercial for cigarettes from 1963 ...
And although their regiments modernized, BMW instead of a horse and even (DAF) tanks, the horse remains part of their being as can be seen on up to date pics from Denmark, Hungary and a few o0thers
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Old 25th May 2024, 07:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
The Spekulatius cookie has been an integral part of christmas pastries in central Europe since the middle ages..
where these cookies were originally , traditionally made & sold around Sinterklaas ( Santa Claus) in Belgium and the Netherlands around the good saint's birthday , i.e. 5th December, they are nowadays available all year.

The same for the delious Aachener Print....

Another tradition in this region ( Father's day ) approaching , June 16th, I stumbled upon a nice gift / piece of sweets to be given to all sweet tooth daddies as a present by their kids.
But....not from the Holland, Belgium or the North Rhine Westphalia erea, but Sweet Home Alabam !


Yes indeed, Cherri Jones, a Southern Belle sells in her Southern Tea Cake Shop in Alabama ( the good ol' U S of A ) this Husar either as gingerbread or a spekulatius cookie since 2019!

How traditions stay alive and wander over the world ( perhaps an immigrant or a Southerner stumbling upon the recipe and finding a market in the South, who knows...☺☼☺)

Maybe a good excuse for uncle Jim from route 66 to get (new) kicks at route 65 ☺☻☺
perhaps on a Milwaukee Steel Horse singin' "roll me away" by Bob Seeger....
to Sweet home, Alabama
Where the skies are so blue... (courtesy of Lynyrd Skynyrd)
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