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  • Jenne Heise
    Feb 13, 2002
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      More Easter Egg stuff from "An Egg at Easter"

      "One of the earliest known records of colouring Easter eggs comes fromt eh
      household accounts of Edward I, dated 1290, which show an entry of 18d,
      spent on purchasing 459 eggs, to be coloured or covered with gold leaf and
      distributed to members of the royal household." p 219. Citing William
      Hone, _The Every-Day Book_, London, 1837, i. 429

      "It is interesting that much earlier (1557-8) Anthony Jenkinson observed
      that while the ordinary people of Russia carried red eggs at Easter, the
      gentry had theirs gilded." p. 220, citing Richard Hakluyt?

      "Watts maintains that, as there no records of Easter eggs in Western
      Europe before the fifteenth century, they may have been introduced by
      warriors returning from the Crusades." [citing Watts, Alan.
      _Easter: Its Story and Meaning_ NY 1958 p. 29

      "According to Benet, egg decorating existed in Poland prior to the
      eleventh century. She quotes no examples to support her claim" [this is
      Benet's unreliable _Song, Dance and Customs of Peasant Poland_, btw]
      "but other sources cite the oldest painted egg in that area from
      excavations at an early fortified castle in the Opole Wood, Silesia."
      [Citing Seweryn, Tadeusz, 'Les Oeufs de Paques Polonais ed Hutsules,'
      _Schweizerische Archiv fur Volkskunde_, Basle 1957 vol 53, p 172.
      "The castle itselve dates from the eleventh to twelfth centuries, a period
      which marked the close of a strongly Slav period in Silesia and after 1200
      settlement of Germans became extensive... there were many links with
      german areas, of some interest in view of numerous historic egg finds
      around Worms-- which may or may not be Christian . . ."

      "In Poland itself the first written mention of painted eggs occurs in the
      thirteenth-century _Chronicle_ of Archbishop Vincent Kadlubek: 'In distant
      times the Poles used to amuse themselves at the expense of their lords
      with coloured eggs [pictis ovis].'" Seweryn again...

      [citing Konig, Wolfhilde von, 'Kostbare Ostereier', _Die Waage_, ii
      (Stolberg, June 1964), 206]: ". . . there are thirteenth century
      references in both Germany and England. Freidanck, in his poem
      _'Bescheidenheit'_ (Modesty), written in 1216, refers to eggs colored red
      and black:
      ein kint naem ein gewerwet ei
      fur ander drin oder zwei.
      (a child takes a colored egg,
      or perhaps two for those inside)"

      "The books of a Dominican convent at Mahrenburg tells us that these eggs
      were already known in Styria by the fourteenth century. An entry dated 25
      November 1393 reads: "Vund schol diselben ayer tayln an dem heilgen
      tefelsampstag vnder di vrawn all di des convents sint' (And shall these
      eggs distribute on Holy Saturday among the women present in cloister.)"
      [citing Kretzenbacher, Leopod, 'Vom roten Osterei in der grunen
      Steiermark' _Schweizerische Archiv fur Volkskunde_ LIII (Basle 1957),
      Chambers, exploring the Durham Accounts, found similar entries for the
      fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: 'fratribus et sororibus de Wytton pro
      eorumEgsilver erga festum pasche.'"

      Near Rome ". . . 'These on Easter day are carried to church to ye parish
      priests, who bless them and sprinkle ym. w.holy water; on yt day, at
      dinner, ye cloth is adorned w. sweet herbs and flowers and ye first thing
      yt is eat are those blessed eggs; wc. are cheifly painted ye nuns of
      Amelia, a small city about 30 miles from Rome: ye common sort of these
      eggs are all of one color, as yellow, blew, red, or purple, wc. are sold
      in ye streets till Ascension day or Whitsuntide. Anno 1716." [cited from
      _The Gentlemans' Magazine_ ii (London 1831), 408].

      more to come...

      Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
      disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
      "I'd be much happier if my love life resembled falconry a lot less."
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