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A qestion about a cloak.

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  • perro_de_croy
    Hello all and sundry! I have been lurking in the shadows for a while but have recently started a new research project and was wondering if I could gather your
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 20, 2011
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      Hello all and sundry! I have been lurking in the shadows for a while but
      have recently started a new research project and was wondering if I
      could gather your worthy opinions.

      I have taken to studying something in the Codex Manesse that I have
      found rather interesting. There are a few images and I am trying to
      decipher whether or not what was drawn is supposed to represent ermine
      or not. There's one image that I would like to make a pattern for which
      has brought me to this but that can wait until later.

      The fist image I found was th
      <http://diglit.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0128?sid=c1cc39ffa3c8d\
      5a60c9cdac3f82a0453> is one
      <http://diglit.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0128?sid=c1cc39ffa3c8d\
      5a60c9cdac3f82a0453> . The part I am interested in is the white and
      black that decorates the cape. For all intents and purposes it looks
      like a great cloak of sorts with a definite collar of this white
      decorative material. It looks as though the whole cloak is lined in the
      stuff and so I can only assume that it is some kind of fur. I asked my
      husband, a historian, and he said that it may have been stoat fur while
      I thought perhaps ermine. Fortunately it was not the only example of
      this possible fur.

      The second example, here
      <http://diglit.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0215?sid=c1cc39ffa3c8d\
      5a60c9cdac3f82a0453&zoomlevel=2> , with both a female and male model
      wearing the same kind of decorated cloak. While the woman's version is
      much simpler, the men's version is pretty much exactly the same as the
      one above and both are clasped over the right shoulder. I think that
      the cloak itself looks very full and could possibly be a full circle
      cloak. I'm looking for any input that you may have as to what it may
      be. Stoat or ermine or or something else entirely? What are your
      thoughts? Can anyone read the German and say definitively what it is
      supposed to be?

      I appreciate all your input!
      YIS,
      -Perronnelle de Croy

      P.S. sorry for the cross posting!



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ann Catelli
      I d say vair, squirrel. It certainly resembles the heraldic symbol for vair, with the dark backs & white bellies of the squirrel showing. Could be a lot of
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 20, 2011
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        I'd say vair, squirrel.

        It certainly resembles the heraldic symbol for vair, with the dark backs & white bellies of the squirrel showing.

        Could be a lot of other small animals with pale bellies, of course, but vair was valuable.

        Ermine is white with the occasional dark dash or trio of dots.

        Ann in CT

        --- On Mon, 6/20/11, perro_de_croy <perrodecroy@...> wrote:

        > Codex Manesse images -- ermine or not.
      • Michael Hurley
        ... Yeah, I d say something like vair. Basically, what you re seeing are rectangles of fur cut from the usable belly skin of the squirrel. The middle is white,
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 20, 2011
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          On Jun 20, 2011, at 10:28 PM, Ann Catelli wrote:
          > I'd say vair, squirrel.
          >
          > It certainly resembles the heraldic symbol for vair, with the dark
          > backs & white bellies of the squirrel showing.
          >
          > Could be a lot of other small animals with pale bellies, of course,
          > but vair was valuable.
          >
          > Ermine is white with the occasional dark dash or trio of dots.

          Yeah, I'd say something like vair. Basically, what you're seeing are
          rectangles of fur cut from the usable belly skin of the squirrel. The
          middle is white, the edges are dark since the back fur is brown.
          Interestingly, it looks like someone else agrees. One of the
          illuminations you posted is used to illustrate vair tincture on
          Wikipedia (for what it's worth.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vair

          Just in case you've not come across this explanation before, in
          wintertime ermines go totally white except for the tips of their
          tails. This white fur is thick, soft and very luxuriant.

          http://bolt.lakeheadu.ca/~borfor/zoo/ermine.jpg

          Originally, when the lining was sewn together the tips of the tails
          were sewn on as well, dangling free. The heraldic representation of
          that showed the tail (the black shape pointing downward) and the
          stitching at the top holding the tail on (the three spots).

          http://bbcicecream.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/michael-jacksons-auction-004.jpg

          --
          Auf wiedersehen!
          Michael
          ______________________________________________________
          "..Um..Something strange happened to me this morning."

          "Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort
          of Sun God robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked
          women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"

          "..No."

          "Why am I the only person that has that dream?"

          -Real Genius
        • Marianne Perdomo
          For what it s worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought vair . Ermine tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive. As a related aside, a Spanish
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 21, 2011
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            For what it's worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought "vair". Ermine
            tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive.
            As a related aside, a Spanish royal garment, a 13th c. man's sideless
            surcoat in Las Huelgas still show bits of its... rabbit lining!

            Cheers!


            Leonor


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Scat@cfl.rr.com
            I have not checked the German to translate it; however, I strongly suspect that the lining is vair. I have no personal interst because in Central Trimaris
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 21, 2011
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              I have not checked the German to translate it; however, I strongly suspect
              that the lining is vair. I have no personal interst because in Central
              Trimaris there might be

              an event on a day when I could wear a fur cloak some years; then again,
              there might not.



              Colm



              From: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com]
              On Behalf Of Marianne Perdomo
              Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 3:30 AM
              To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] A qestion about a cloak.





              For what it's worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought "vair". Ermine
              tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive.
              As a related aside, a Spanish royal garment, a 13th c. man's sideless
              surcoat in Las Huelgas still show bits of its... rabbit lining!

              Cheers!

              Leonor

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kareina Talvi Tytär
              ... It isn t just that ermine are expensive, they are also small enough that it takes LOTS of them to make something. One of my friends in Oertha once made an
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 22, 2011
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                At 09:30 21/06/2011, Leonor wrote:

                >For what it's worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought "vair". Ermine
                >tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive.

                It isn't just that ermine are expensive, they are also small enough
                that it takes LOTS of them to make something. One of my friends in
                Oertha once made an Ermine mantle for Duke Radonr--it took 36 ermine
                (which her partner trapped) to make the mantle, which just covers his
                shoulders. After sewing that many furs together she swore that once
                was enough. Finding enough ermine to make a cloak would require
                using all of the critters from not just one trapper's area, but many
                of them. I just compared a random mantle and cloak from my closet,
                and it looks like the cloak is 10 to 12 times the area of the mantle,
                which would mean that to make an ermine cloak would require 300 to
                400 (or more) ermine!

                Also, keep in mind that predators (such as ermine) tend to have a
                much smaller population than prey. Not only are squirrels wider
                than ermine (so it takes fewer of them to cover the same area in fur)
                there are also more of them available for hunting or trapping in the
                first place. They are also more often considered to be food than are
                meat-eaters, resulting in more than one reason to hunt or trap them.
                I think that these factors are why it isn't that uncommon to see (or
                hear of) vair used for large things like cloaks or dress linings, but
                it would really surprise me to see an entire cloak of ermine.

                --Kareina


                mobile phone +46 70 253 2443
                or +39 388 119 9386
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              • Marianne Perdomo
                Thanks for the insight. :) I disagree with part of your conclusion, though. The fact that you need lots and lots of them, and there aren t that many around is
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 22, 2011
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                  Thanks for the insight. :) I disagree with part of your conclusion, though.
                  The fact that you need lots and lots of them, and there aren't that many
                  around is just what makes it very expensive, probably in the "outrageously
                  expensive" range, which is why a whole mantle of them would be soooooo
                  kingly, I guess. :)

                  Cheers!


                  Leonor / Marianne


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Terri Morgan
                  I believe that the Ottoman empire had a set of regulations for the use of various furs (how many per item of clothing, and of what cut of fur [belly vs back])
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 22, 2011
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                    I believe that the Ottoman empire had a set of regulations for the use of
                    various furs (how many per item of clothing, and of what cut of fur [belly
                    vs back]) but the book that carried the cites is not one I own - I just
                    borrowed it from a friend. If someone has, um, The Sulimanami, or possible
                    "Splendor of the Sultans", I think the information in there might be useful
                    given the amount of tradegoods that flowed from East to West and vice versa.


                    Hrothny
                  • Susanne Hibbert
                    That is because it comes form the land of the rabbits , or so thought the Romans...... Susana I made a coat such as that with rabbit lining and she thought it
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 22, 2011
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                      That is because it comes form the "land of the rabbits", or so thought the
                      Romans......
                      Susana
                      I made a coat such as that with rabbit lining and she thought it better than the
                      one lined with "gatto" (cat); just kidding..... Looks like some kind of fur...
                      Susana





                      ________________________________
                      From: Marianne Perdomo <marianne@...>
                      To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tue, June 21, 2011 1:30:00 AM
                      Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] A qestion about a cloak.


                      For what it's worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought "vair". Ermine
                      tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive.
                      As a related aside, a Spanish royal garment, a 13th c. man's sideless
                      surcoat in Las Huelgas still show bits of its... rabbit lining!

                      Cheers!

                      Leonor

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • pixel39
                      ... In period a garment would be lined with miniver or pured miniver (and sometimes snow weasel , which is any non-ermine weasel that turns white in the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 1, 2011
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                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Kareina Talvi Tytär <kareina.sca@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > At 09:30 21/06/2011, Leonor wrote:
                        >
                        > >For what it's worth, I also saw them and isntantly thought "vair". Ermine
                        > >tends to look differently and was incredibly expensive.
                        >
                        > It isn't just that ermine are expensive, they are also small enough
                        > that it takes LOTS of them to make something. One of my friends in
                        > Oertha once made an Ermine mantle for Duke Radonr--it took 36 ermine
                        > (which her partner trapped) to make the mantle, which just covers his
                        > shoulders. After sewing that many furs together she swore that once
                        > was enough. Finding enough ermine to make a cloak would require
                        > using all of the critters from not just one trapper's area, but many
                        > of them. I just compared a random mantle and cloak from my closet,
                        > and it looks like the cloak is 10 to 12 times the area of the mantle,
                        > which would mean that to make an ermine cloak would require 300 to
                        > 400 (or more) ermine!

                        In period a garment would be lined with miniver or pured miniver (and sometimes "snow weasel", which is any non-ermine weasel that turns white in the winter) except where it showed, and then they would use ermine--household accounts show purchases of (for example) 12 ermine skins and some huge number of squirrel skins for linings. 12 ermine skins doesn't cover a heck of a lot, even if you use as much of the skin as is possible, so they are clearly *only* using the ermine where it is visible.

                        My consort and I lined the hoods of our master's/elevation robes completely with ermine, because of the non-availability of miniver (given the relative prices and availability of grey squirrel vs. ermine, it was actually cheaper to use ermines), and it took something like 52 medium-sized skins for two relatively fitted hoods. IIRC the linings are four plates sized roughly 12"x14"x, and not really carefully matched or anything.

                        [We now pause for a brief side note on furs in period]

                        Skins were trimmed and sewn in rows, which were then assembled into plates. Vair is the whole squirrel, gris is the back of the squirrel, miniver is the whole belly of the squirrel, and pured miniver is the belly of the squirrel with the grey edges trimmed off.

                        Rabbits (the precursor of the domestic rabbit, as opposed to hares) were introduced into greater Europe by the Romans, but died out in England when the Romans left, to be re-introduced in the 13th century. They are otherwise originally native mostly just to the Iberian peninsula.

                        [This concludes our brief side note.]

                        YIS,

                        Margaret FitzWilliam of Kent
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