Heraldic shield display at tournaments - 13th century

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Tetardd
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Heraldic shield display at tournaments - 13th century

Postby Tetardd » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:57 pm

If you were a knight going to a tournament in the 13th century, you'd probably have wooden shields representing your coat of arms that you'd want to hang somewhere to advertise your attendance. Was there any rule/practice regarding the display of these heraldic items around the tournament area?
Where they hung on trees near the entrance of town? On flag poles maybe? Simply around the combat arena or stages built for noble spectators?



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Heraldic shield display at tournaments - 13th century

Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:44 pm

If you were a knight going to a tournament in the 13th century, you'd probably have wooden shields representing your coat of arms that you'd want to hang somewhere to advertise your attendance


Based on what evidence? Knights carrying multiple shields bearing their unique coat of arms seems more than a bit far-fetched - arms represented a single individual and I know of nothing that suggests they ever carried multiple shields into battle or tourney. We are fortunate to have a Victorian copy of a lost 13th century manuscript illustration entitled "Preparation for a tournament", which shows the knight's banner or pennon being used to publicly indicate their presence (this was, after all, the main purpose of these flags). Here the king of arms displays the banner and pennon, since the knights do not use them during the tournament; no doubt he would also introduce the pair by name and rank.

tournament.jpg


Preparation for a tournament, 13th century. The king at arms holds the knights' banners, the knights salute each other, while bagpiper, horn players and drummers with blazons. Handcoloured lithograph by Joseph Strutt from his own Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, Chatto and Windus, London, 1876.

So definitely no shields hanging on random trees (somebody would likely pinch them anyway).


Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

Tetardd
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Re: Heraldic shield display at tournaments - 13th century

Postby Tetardd » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Based on these types of drawing that do not look 13th century to me but that may still be medieval, I need to check further:

http://www.medievalchronicles.com/medie ... urnaments/

As can be seen, lots of shield shapes items hanging up.



Jorge
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Re: Heraldic shield display at tournaments - 13th century

Postby Jorge » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:15 am

XVth century tournaments were martial displays quite different - elaborated, full of pageantry and etiquette - from the far more simple XIIIth century ones. 'Medieval' spans quite a lot of centuries, completely different realities and nuances. You have to take that into account.

The shields you mention in the pictures you posted the link to aren't the shields (that is coats of arms, or better still arms) of the knights fighting in those tournaments. They are the arms of the judges marshalling the whole procedures in the lists. And there's the picture depicting just a set of arms - the ones belonging to the king of France. Also, there are no shields hanging here and there - they're on the scaffold where the important lords are. They're likely painted on fabric, or onto a straight, thin sheet of wood.




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