Burgfräulein von Strechau, by an unknown artist from the 17th century. The painting hangs in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
The legend (as far as I can determine from the German websites I’ve deciphered with the help of Google Translate) tells that in the late Middle Ages a damsel waited for her lover who left to the Holy Land to fight the infidels. The lady promised that if he did not return she would enter a monastery. Despite her promise, she married another man and when the bride came to the festival her face changed to a skull and devilish figures appeared and pulled her down to hell in front of all the guests.
The legend is derived from a poem.
This is also a good photograph of the painting, via Flickr.
I’ve been looking for this for ages!
On Jan. 28, 1393, during a riotous wedding at the royal palace of Saint-Pol, Charles VI and five French nobles dressed up as wild men using linen costumes covered with pitch and hair and ranged among the guests, howling like wolves and daring them to guess their identities. One guest approached too closely with his torch and set them ablaze. The Duchess of Berry had the presence of mind to throw a cloak over the king, and one of the nobles managed to dive into a barrel of water. “The other four were burned alive their flaming genitals dropping to the floor, [the Monk of St. Denis] remarks with a sharp but on this occasion rather unsavoury eye for detail, releasing a stream of blood,” notes Jan R. Veenstra in Magic and Divination at the Courts of Burgundy and France. “Three of them, the count of Joigny, the bastard of Foix and Aymeri de Poitiers were deeply mourned; a fourth victim, Huguet de Guisay, was left wailing in agony for three days before he too expired, but he was not mourned, the Monk of St. Denis explains, since he was a vicious man and people were glad to see him perish.”
Edward VIII taken by his grandmother, Queen Alexandra.
It has been WAY too long since this guy was on my blog! I love Alexandra’s photographs of the family!
Morbid Monday: Mummified Charms and Amulets of the Lovett Collection.
Displayed for the first time to the public in 1917, the mummified heart was once the property of Edward Lovett, an eccentric British erudite and wealthy chief cashier in the bank of the City of London who, in his spare time, was the most relentless archivist of his era. A member of the Folklore Society since 1900, Lovett had one very unusual obsession: once off work, he would spend his free time strolling through the slums of Edwardian London to collect evidence of magic and medicinal practices, vernacular beliefs that the century of industrialization and rational sciences hadn’t eliminated. From his urban explorations, conversation with street sellers, sailors, and working classes witches, Lovett accumulated an astonishing array of charms, an incredible collection of odds and ends that proved superstitions were an invisible, yet persistent, practice, even in modern England.
Read more about the magic relics of modern England here !
Originating in the 18th century, but growing in popularity throughout the 19th century, dance cards were small, decorative notebooks used by women to record the names of the men who had promised them a dance at a ball.
As can be seen in the fan-shaped example above, the names of each dance that will be played at the event are noted already on the blue “Dances” sections, whilst the “Engagements”, or the names of the men with whom the woman intends to dance, are marked in ink beside them. Apparently the men would just have to remember by heart with whom they had promised the dance.
The dance cards came in particularly handy at the massive 19th century balls of Vienna, especially those during Fasching, just before Lent. Most dance cards incorporated a pencil and a cord to attach to the woman’s wrist, however, more elaborate dance cards of the elite were sometimes decorated with precious metals or jewels.
No, not sex. It would seem people in the 18th century had better stuff to do. Like stabbing one another in the butt and slashing one another’s faces with knives…
According to Francis Grose’s 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, one “diversion practiced by the bloods of the last century” was Sweating:
these gentlemen lay in wait to surprise some person late in the night, when surrouding him, they with their swords pricked him in the posteriors, which obliged him to be constantly turning round; this they continued till they thought him sufficiently sweated.
Then, “somewhat like those facetious gentlemen some time ago known in England by the title of Sweaters,” were Chalkers. In Ireland Chalkers were “Men of wit … who in the night amuse themselves with cutting inoffensive passengers across the face with a knife.”
[Sources: Hypervocal | From Old Books]
Inky paw prints on a 15th century manuscript.
(Source: National Geographic)