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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to throw some interesting excellerants on the smouldering ashes here, I recall many, many years ago reading a long series of articles in "Muzzle Blasts" magazine (ca. 1973 or something like that) by a Swedish pastor who pointed out that the "Weeping Heart" so common in Pennsylvania "Dutch" art, and used as decoration on tomahawks and long rifles as well, may actually be a Linden leaf, rather than a heart. The Linden tree's religious connotations go WAY back in Germanic folklore, and although I'll be darned if I recall his exact argument (been just a while since reading it in passing, you know) it seemed pretty sound at the time. I'm sure someone with the time and search engine could do a bang-up job on that idea.

BTW, indeed, Gothic armour is beautiful, both in form and functionality. Sad that fashions changed! Sad

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
... I recall... ... a Swedish pastor who pointed out that the "Weeping Heart" so common in Pennsylvania "Dutch" art, and used as decoration on tomahawks and long rifles as well, may actually be a Linden leaf, rather than a heart. The Linden tree's religious connotations go WAY back in Germanic folklore...

Gordon, this struck a chord with me... so I went looking. It didn't take me too long to uncover a real treasure: The Legend of St. George's Linden.

The tale is well worth a read (so go, go now!).

To paraphrase: A Knight, George Brömser, leaves his beloved a linden tree blessed with the protections of St. George, as a token of his love before going off to war. He said as long as the tree did well, so did he:
Quote:
"Tend this budding linden which I have planted here to the honour of my patron saint. You shall keep troth with me so long as it flourishes, but if it fade (and may St. George in his grace prevent it) then you may forget me, for I shall be dead."

After some time, a covetous knight comes to court her, and she denies him, referencing the healthy tree as a living symbol of her faith in his survival and eventual return. This knight finds a dead and decaying linden, and, in the cover of night, thrashes the healthy linden, and replaces it with the dead one. Again, he returns to her, seeking her affections. Again, she denies him, reaffirming her love for her beloved. In a fit of rage, he runs her through, then, suddenly remorseful, hangs himself. Eventually, battered but alive, George Brömser returns, only to find this most sad situation...

If these hearts are, indeed, actually linden leaves in reference to this Germanic tale of chivalric love, I'll be more than proud to wear them on my harness.

What say ye, Gordon?



Gordon Frye wrote:
BTW, indeed, Gothic armour is beautiful, both in form and functionality. Sad that fashions changed! Sad

I'm trying to change 'em back! At least in spurts... Big Grin I've loved High Gothic forever, but it just grows deeper and deeper.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron;

Wow! Very cool discovery indeed! I suspect that the Linden leaf symbol goes much further back of course, but it's very cool to discover a fable which directly relates to the topic under discussion! I'm sure that further study will reveal many more such nifty bits and pieces of information, and I look forward to reading them posted here! Big Grin

And I think it's great that you're working on bringing back High Gothic armour to the fashion-consciousness of the World! Blued, wasp-waisted armour is so gorgeous... of course, as you and Jean have discussed, actually FITTING into such a thing of beauty is another matter entirely! Eek!

Funny thing, one of the first corselets I ever had was a very nice blued Gothic breast and back with fauld. I wish I still had that, but at least I know where it lives. Maybe one of these days... Wink

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, Aaron, that is a beautifully sad story you found!

I, for one, have always actually liked hearts on gothic armour. There's something really striking to me about the blending of war and emotion. After the linden leaf symbol, it seems so much cooler.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, the Armour and Castings harness looks decent for the price, but it really doesn't do it for me. The fluting is just too blatant, if you know what I mean. It lacks the subtley and grace of gothic design... it captures to basic look, but not the "soul". If it's functional, though, then it's an outstanding price.
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
Wow! Very cool discovery indeed! I suspect that the Linden leaf symbol goes much further back of course, but it's very cool to discover a fable which directly relates to the topic under discussion! I'm sure that further study will reveal many more such nifty bits and pieces of information, and I look forward to reading them posted here! Big Grin

I thought it was super-cool. It'd been a long time since I last came across that story... Thanks for nudging me!

Linden leaves seem to show up in Germanic literature... Another rather epic appearance, if you'll excuse the pun, is in Nibelungenlied - hero kills dragon, bathes in his blood, and becomes invincible - except for a small place where a linden leaf fell on him.

Now having all kinds of little vulnerable points all over my stunningly beautiful harness is NOT the meaning (nor the reality) I wish to convey... but it's still interesting. I'll keep digging (but for now, it's off to bed)...

Gordon Frye wrote:
And I think it's great that you're working on bringing back High Gothic armour to the fashion-consciousness of the World! Blued, wasp-waisted armour is so gorgeous... of course, as you and Jean have discussed, actually FITTING into such a thing of beauty is another matter entirely! Eek!

Maximillian and Sigfried were tiny, skinny men. I'm thinking I won't be able to ever squeeze myself into anything quite so svelte as that... but I do believe I can still manage to make a full harness look good - or at least, I dare someone to come tell me "yeah, that harness DOES make you look fat..." and see just how far that Munich or Regent will penetrate between their 4th and 5th left ribs...

Gordon Frye wrote:
Funny thing, one of the first corselets I ever had was a very nice blued Gothic breast and back with fauld. I wish I still had that, but at least I know where it lives. Maybe one of these days... Wink

Sounds sweet! Perhaps a reunion at some point...

-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Aaron you just have to work out more and a 75" chest should give you the same look in proportion chest to your waist as the original's 35" chest to 18" waist. Razz

O.K. I'm realy glad to be out of sword range at the moment, even scalpel range if you are angry! Makes me nervous. Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Oh, good story by the way: So any information about Sir George and how the rest of his life turned out ? Became a monk ?
Became a drunk ? Got over it and married his second cousin ? Went back to war and dies in battle taking many many others with him ? Or all of the above ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Wow, Aaron, that is a beautifully sad story you found!

I, for one, have always actually liked hearts on gothic armour. There's something really striking to me about the blending of war and emotion. After the linden leaf symbol, it seems so much cooler.

I was really blown away by the story. As I said, I had run across it years ago - didn't pay it much mind, then... perhaps I was too young, too naive to understand.

The more I see these piercwork hearts, the more I think about the whole concept in a period frame of mind (as opposed to the little candy hearts and cupids and such WTF?! ), the more I really like 'em. I agree, Bill, there's something powerful about the blending - excellent word - of war and emotion. I've decided - the hearts stay.

Now, whether Gordon's Linden Leaf suggestion continues to turn up more leads and any further understanding, we'll see... but that story was indeed a winner. If nothing else, that's going to be my motivation behind them.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Well Aaron you just have to work out more and a 75" chest should give you the same look in proportion chest to your waist as the original's 35" chest to 18" waist. Razz

Damn it, man! When I was benching 400, my chest was only 48"! What kind of freak... Razz

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Oh, good story by the way: So any information about Sir George and how the rest of his life turned out ? Became a monk ?
Became a drunk ? Got over it and married his second cousin ? Went back to war and dies in battle taking many many others with him ? Or all of the above ?

Quote:
With uncovered head the lord of Rheinfels showed the young man the grave of his beloved, and there the two men embraced each other long and silently. The young soldier pulled up the faded linden-tree and hurled it into the Rhine, while on the newly-made grave he planted white lilies. George Brömser did not a second time fall in love, but remained true to his chosen bride to the end of his days. We are told that in the company of knightly minstrels he sought to forget his great sorrow, and that later he composed many pretty songs. One of them has survived the centuries, and was recently discovered, along with the melody, in an old manuscript. It begins:

"A linden stands in yonder vale,
Ah God! what does it there?"


He became a celibate ballad composer. Surrounded by "Knightly Minstrels" I have to wonder... heavy metal?

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron;

Jokes aside, thanks for the end of the story: Sort of like the Monk option without the vows ! Sad but honourable: Some wounds never heal. Some wounds are not allowed to heal as healing would be too much like forgetting.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Concerning the Linden-leafs:
It might interest you to hear that people used to plant a Linden-tree in the center of each village (usually when a new settlement was founded).
The area around the tree was not only used as a market place (what else Wink ) but also as a place for dancing and festivities.
In some villages people even built a dancing ground up in the branches. That place was (naturally) rather small but sufficient. Of course this tradition is now almost extinct since nobody is founding new villages anymore + the 20th century did the rest Wink

I don't know if there are similar traditions in other countries but I think it's not unlikely.


If someone has pictures of gothic armour please post it Happy
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Russ Thomas
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2005 11:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello folks,

This is a great and interesting thread, sorry that I haven't been able to contribute before now, been moving and building workshops and things and only have spasmodic internet connection at present Cry

There is a nice gothic gauntlet in the Wallace Collection in London, off the top of my head I think that it is # 252. It is illustrated in the 'Arms & Armour of the Medieval Knight' , by D.Edge & J.M.Paddock. This has hearts pierced in it for decoration.

The nice thing with the flour di lis design is of course that when they are very close together with the flowers touching, like in the Sigismund harness, the flowers actually form the hearts in the gaps, so you actually get both .Very beautiful, but loads of work. I am actually starting a complicated gothic harness for a customer at christmas, this will have flour de lis motives and pierced work, so I will let you know how long it takes.

BTW, if I recall correctly, Sigismund was about 5'7" tall and Maximilian I shorter, only about 5'4' tall.

I'll have another read of this thread again later and try and see if I can contribute anything of interest. Gothic armour is beautiful.........

Regards as ever,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2005 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Thomas wrote:

There is a nice gothic gauntlet in the Wallace Collection in London, off the top of my head I think that it is # 252. It is illustrated in the 'Arms & Armour of the Medieval Knight' , by D.Edge & J.M.Paddock. This has hearts pierced in it for decoration.


Russ,
That has always been my favorite gauntlet of all time!

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--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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