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Old 3rd November 2020, 02:56 AM   #31
shayde78
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"Agony in the Garden", 1515
Reinterpretation of the scene, with a different sword depicted.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:01 AM   #32
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"Landscape with Cannon", 1518
The cannon is decorated with the coat of arms of Nuremberg. It is believed to be the weapon that gave Emperor Maximillian I superior firepower over the Turks. It is not known if the Turk depicted is a prisoner or an ambassador. Durer used his own likeness as the head of the Turk.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:06 AM   #33
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"Peasant and His Wife", 1519
We've seen this hilt before, also attributed to "peasants". Interesting that the artist's decision to use the same hilt design after so many years had passed. Habit of the artist, or does it speak to longevity of a peasant's style. If one values utility over fashion, there likely is little reason to change from a design that is working well enough.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:07 AM   #34
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"Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg", 1523
Sword on the wall in the background
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:09 AM   #35
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"St. Bartholomew", 1523
The knife blade is interesting. Reminiscent of the blade held in a fist that serves as a maker's mark.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:12 AM   #36
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"St. Simon", 1523
The instrument in his hand is a saw, rather than a weapon. Still, I included here because the hilt looks like something that, if we saw on a weapon, we might speculate, "could that be from a tool, rather than a sword?" Now we have an example of a saw handle for reference
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:13 AM   #37
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"Frederick the Wise", 1524
Crossed sword upper left corner.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:15 AM   #38
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And, that's all of them - feel free to discuss, or simply reference as related to items you have in your collection.

I'm always curious to read your thoughts and comments. Overall, I hope this proves useful to some of you as it is my way of paying tuition for the education this forum has provided me over the years.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:49 AM   #39
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It is the first time today that I saw your many posts which I looked at with great interest. Dürer's opus is really really remarkable and ingenious and I have to thank you to having posted it here.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 05:48 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
Good question - I have received pretty universal feedback from folks who are Asian that 'oriental' should be used to refer to objects (arms, carpets, etc.), while people should be referred to as 'Asian', or more specifically, to the region and/or country being referenced (i.e. Persian, South Asian, etc.).


Thank you for alerting me to this. I looked into it and it may be more of a US specific issue.

Orient comes from Latin Oriens which is ”rising” and means East (where the sun rises). The point of reference for ancient Romans of course was the City of Rome. The opposite of orient is occident which means West in Latin.

In the US apparently the word oriental was considered to be a racial and derogatory term in the 1970s (perhaps due to the Vietnam war?) and its use has been phased out.

The word oriental in Europe has perhaps become a bit imprecise as it now includes the Middle East and all of Asia, but the word is hardly considered derogatory. As example can be mentioned the prestigeous School of African and Oriental Studies in London (SOAS).
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:39 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78

*I use the title of the work, acknowledging that the use of the word 'Oriental' to describe a person is offensive.


The Latin oriens / orientis, "east", as opposed to occidens / occidentis "west", derive from the verbs orire and occidere, "to rise" and "to set" respectively, in reference to the movement of the sun. One would think that cardinal directions and astronomical phenomena are pretty neutral concepts.

People will always attach baggage to words and labels. In the US, the term "Southerner" inspires certain knee-jerk connotations with a lot of people who are not from south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Last edited by Philip : 3rd November 2020 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:52 PM   #42
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Default Geographic fuzziness

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Originally Posted by Victrix

The word oriental in Europe has perhaps become a bit imprecise as it now includes the Middle East and all of Asia, but the word is hardly considered derogatory. As example can be mentioned the prestigeous School of African and Oriental Studies in London (SOAS).


Usage as a geographic and cultural identifier has indeed been rather loosey-goosey depending on place, time, and individual. For a long time in Europe and Britain, "Oriental" seems to have been primarily associated with the Middle East and India, and "the Far East" to the rest of Asia. Some auctions still categorize their lots using this approach. Kilijs and kulah-khuds being Oriental arms, whereas keris, katanas, and dhas being Far Eastern / Fernost, Extrême-Orient. In the US, I've noted that the term Oriental, in the popular conception, is most associated with the Far East and the term is still accepted among the expat Korean and Filipino communities here.

Note that Robert Hales' lavish picture book, his career retrospective, is entitled Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime's Passion. Nothing wrong with covering all the bases.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 11:15 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix

In the US apparently the word oriental was considered to be a racial and derogatory term in the 1970s (perhaps due to the Vietnam war?) and its use has been phased out.
.


Interesting to note the changing fashions in some ethnic labels in American English usage. In the 19th cent., the term "Dutchman" was often applied to Germans (who after all hailed from Deutschland), and it became a somewhat pejorative term.

For most of our history, African Americans were officially labeled Negroes (from Latin niger, "black" ) but aside from continuing usage in reference to Negro spirituals (songs) and the former Negro League (baseball) it has fallen out of general usage due to its phonetic similarity with its repugnant derivative. However, the term Negro is still used in common speech, along with Black, in Europe and the UK perhaps because of differing historical realities. I don't know anyone from across the pond who uses the term "African-American".

As I noted in another post, the term Oriental has not been universally condemned in US Asian communities. It's still used among Asians in Hawaii, and to identify products and organizations (including churches) among Korean and Filipino immigrant communities. However, some "progressively minded" people do bristle... I recall one ChineseAmerican female author, during an interview, indignantly blurt out "...well, I am NOT a carpet!" PC can be a minefield...
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Old 3rd November 2020, 11:33 PM   #44
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Default bag pipes and the Celtic heritage

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"Bagpiper", 1514

Short sword on a Highlander's hip? I'm guessing bagpipes weren't limited to north of Hadrian's Wall.


Yes, you are spot on. The bagpipes, thought to be a legacy of the great Celtic migrations across Europe BCE, were a popular instrument, particularly among the common folk, across the Continent. In Germany they are known as the Düdelsack, in Italy, zampogna.

One of my most vivid memories of Spain was a trip, decades ago, to attend the Fiesta de Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, the northwest corner of the country which has been a Celtic cultural stronghold for centuries. Never conquered by the Romans nor the Moors... The gaita gallega is the traditional instrument there, mouth-blown like the Scots Highland piob-mor though somewhat smaller and with fewer drone pipes, played by bands marching through the streets with drums, around the Cathedral.

An interesting thing, archaeologically, is the discovery of numerous stone boars in that region and in northern Portugal -- worshiped by the pre-Christian Celt-Iberian inhabitants as symbols of courage, much as did the Celts who fought the Romans, blowing their war-trumpets made of bronze, fashioned with open tusked boars' mouths instead of a funnel shape.

Last edited by Philip : 4th November 2020 at 03:22 AM. Reason: clarify description
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Old 3rd November 2020, 11:40 PM   #45
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Default sword rain-chape

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"Agony in the Garden", 1508

The artist's interpretation of archaic sword?


Very interesting print, thanks for sharing it. Viewed in conjunction with "Sol Justitia" in post 13, it's significant in that the swords are depicted with the leather or metal rain-covers on their crossguards, to keep moisture out when the weapon is sheathed. This, of course, is very seldom seen intact on extant medieval and Renaissance swords due to their fragility. Another reason why period work by noted artists is so useful for documentary purposes.

For those wanting to see the real thing, there are a couple of Italian swords of the period published in Boccia/Coelho, Armi Bianche Italiane (1975). I believe Oakeshott's Records of the Medieval Sword may have a few more examples of hilts with intact chapes as well.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 11:46 PM   #46
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Default peasant knife

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"St. Bartholomew", 1523
The knife blade is interesting. Reminiscent of the blade held in a fist that serves as a maker's mark.


Reminds me of a mini-falchion blade. The profile is almost a spitting image of the one on p 224 of Stone's Glossary... which is identified as German, 15th cent. (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Last edited by Philip : 3rd November 2020 at 11:47 PM. Reason: addtitle
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Old 4th November 2020, 12:01 AM   #47
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Default Cannon

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"Landscape with Cannon", 1518
The cannon is decorated with the coat of arms of Nuremberg. It is believed to be the weapon that gave Emperor Maximillian I superior firepower over the Turks. It is not known if the Turk depicted is a prisoner or an ambassador. Durer used his own likeness as the head of the Turk.


There is a strong likelihood that the workshop also produced a very similar cannon for King Sigismund I of Poland, used by his joint Polish-Lithuanian forces in the battle of Orsza (Orsha) in Byelorussia, 1514, in which a Muscovite army was defeated. The battle, and the weapon, are memorialized in the gigantic oil painting "Battle of Orsha", now in the Muzeum Narodowe in Warsaw. The late arms and art historian Prof. Zdzislaw Zygulski wrote a magisterial article on this work of art, and discusses the cannon in relation to the one in Dürer's 1518 print, in "The Battle of Orsha" , in Robert Held (ed) Art, Arms, and Armour (1979), if you wish to explore the topic further.
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Old 4th November 2020, 02:38 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Reminds me of a mini-falchion blade. The profile is almost a spitting image of the one on p 224 of Stone's Glossary... which is identified as German, 15th cent. (Metropolitan Museum of Art).


St. Bart was martyred by being flayed alive. He is often depicted holding a skinning or flensing knife and also wrapped in his own skin. The texture of the 'garment' may well indicate some type of 'leather'. If I wanted to trademark a blade with an icon symbolizing a keen edge, I might choose to borrow from the iconography of St. Bartholomew.
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Old 4th November 2020, 03:18 AM   #49
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Default St Simon the Apostle, aka Simon the Zealot

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"St. Simon", 1523
The instrument in his hand is a saw, rather than a weapon. Still, I included here because the hilt looks like something that, if we saw on a weapon, we might speculate, "could that be from a tool, rather than a sword?" Now we have an example of a saw handle for reference


He is believe to have flourished in the 1st cent. AD, and is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke as "Simon the Zealot" for his reputed membership in that Jewish nationalist movement. There is an apocryphal book, Acts of Simon, that is not contained in the New Testament.

The implement is indeed a saw, he was martyred by being sawn in half. The place of his demise is not certain, variously placed in Greece or Persia.

As we've discussed in your previous excellent thread on the Nürnberg Chronicles, religious iconography of the era often depicted Saints with the instruments of their martyrdom -- such as Catherine and the spiked wheel, Sebastian with arrows, and Lawrence holding or standing next to the gridiron on which he was roasted.
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Old 4th November 2020, 06:28 AM   #50
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Default halberd

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Originally Posted by shayde78
"Lady on Horseback and Lansquenet", 1497

Nice halberd and sword hilt visible. Also, good representation of an ostrich feather, which adorned the helms of knights of the era, here atop the young lady's head.


There must have been quite a trade in ostrich feathers in those days. All the way from Africa -- the well-to-do have throughout history managed to get their hands on imported luxuries from afar, whether they be porcelains from China or peppercorns and cloves from India.

Dürer's works are an invaluable documentary source for the arms and costume of his time. The profile of the halberd's ax blade, along with the protruding flanges flanking the pointed beak, clearly match the styles catalogued by Ewart Oakeshott as falling within the period 1450-1520, closely approximating the artist's lifespan. See Oakeshott's European Weapons and Armour pp 46-48 for an illustration of the weapon's evolution and of its principal regional styles in the South German / Swiss / northern Italian territories.
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Old 4th November 2020, 09:21 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
PC can be a minefield...


Indeed.
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Old 4th November 2020, 11:07 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
The Latin oriens / orientis, "east", as opposed to occidens / occidentis "west", derive from the verbs orire and occidere, "to rise" and "to set" respectively, in reference to the movement of the sun. One would think that cardinal directions and astronomical phenomena are pretty neutral concepts.

People will always attach baggage to words and labels. In the US, the term "Southerner" inspires certain knee-jerk connotations with a lot of people who are not from south of the Mason-Dixon line.


I agree with the perfect description 'baggage' to words and labels!!!
When I moved from California to Tennessee, I recall the locals commenting to each other when one called me a 'yankee'.
The other said, "nah, he's from California, he aint nuthin'" in a drawl from the holler I could barely understand

As they would say here in Texas (didnt bother me none though).
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Old 4th November 2020, 11:15 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
And, that's all of them - feel free to discuss, or simply reference as related to items you have in your collection.

I'm always curious to read your thoughts and comments. Overall, I hope this proves useful to some of you as it is my way of paying tuition for the education this forum has provided me over the years.



Shayde, I just wanted to thank you for entering these, and especially for placing them as separate entries so we can discuss each individually. It is much easier than trying to refer to a long block of images of different works.
It is a very thoughtful thing to take the time to add these great works of Durer, who I think was an amazing artist with the detail in his illustration (especially in the arms) and the context.

These always remind me of the intriguing and mysterious illustrations in the Johnny Depp movie "The Ninth Gate" in thier character.

No tuition needed here we all learn together and from each other.
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Old 4th November 2020, 11:23 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
"St. Simon", 1523
The instrument in his hand is a saw, rather than a weapon. Still, I included here because the hilt looks like something that, if we saw on a weapon, we might speculate, "could that be from a tool, rather than a sword?" Now we have an example of a saw handle for reference


Tools and weapons have always run close parallels, and often the rank and file in assembled forces were simply peasant farmers and the like who wielded whatever tools or implements they had at hand. Many weapons, especially many pole arms were made from or designed from bill hooks and tools of this kind.

The serrated blades of the swords used by the sappers etc in military forces were of course used as saws as well as a weapon as required.
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Old 4th November 2020, 11:28 AM   #55
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As noted in post #35 re: hand holding a dagger
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Old 4th November 2020, 11:39 AM   #56
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Re: Post 32, landscape with cannon, 1518
Added coat of arms of Nuremberg as depicted on cannon.

This was apparently one of a number of 'iron plates' and depicting curiously a group of Ottomans around an outdated cannon from Nuremberg. At this time Maximilian I, Holy Roman emperor was calling for a crusade against the Turks, which did not materialize. The symbolism in the work is unclear.
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Old 4th November 2020, 12:49 PM   #57
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Default "Five Landsknechts and an Oriental" 1495

In post #1, this Durer engraving depicts as titled, five landsknechts and an oriental.
The landsknechts were actually German mercenaries who used Swiss fighting methods and arms from the latter 15th century. The most discernible weapon is the 'halberd' poleaxe here.

It is curious why the 'oriental' person is included here, but it seems that Durer was profoundly influenced by Italian Renaissance art. Attached is a painting of Mehmed II by Bellini from 1480 (note the addition of the crowns in background reflecting the same conventions of these addendums in Durer's work).
Durer had traveled to Italy in 1494 just as the Italian wars were beginning and surely saw the forces involved assembled at places.

It seems that Renaissance artists had a fascination with 'oriental' figures, which Durer adopted as well. He added an oriental figure to his own coat of arms, and this affectation seems a sort of 'exotica' which he seems to have been drawn to.

The weapon most discernible here is the Swiss halberd held by the figure at far right. The hook at the back of the axe head was to pull a rider from his horse.
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Old 4th November 2020, 01:04 PM   #58
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Default "Peasant and Wife" 1519

This work from post #33 here, is intriguing as the hilt style is noted.

What is remarkable here is that this hilt style appears to be of the 'karabela' form, which did not become known until around 17th century in Poland and Hungary. It is believed that the style was adopted from Ottoman sabers, but their exact origins and when they were used remains unclear.
Here it is remarkable to see this hilt style in this work of 1519, well over a century before it became known in Eastern Europe.

Again, it would seem the attraction to 'oriental' (i.e. Ottoman) imagery is apparent.
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Old 4th November 2020, 02:52 PM   #59
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Hi Jim,
I'm not sure this has anything to do with Karabela forms. The farmers knife or Bauernwehr was well established in Europe and as I see it this is the type of knife the man is wearing.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th November 2020, 04:11 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
... I recall one ChineseAmerican female author, during an interview, indignantly blurt out "...well, I am NOT a carpet!" PC can be a minefield...

Well, if the interview took place in my (European) neck of the woods, the lady would be Asian, having finished eating in an Asian Restaurant, which was situated in the Oriental part of the city .
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