FW: Re: sources & misconceptions

I. Marc Carlson LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.edu
Thu Oct 3 12:17:48 PDT 1996

<ches at io.com>
>My apoligies to anyone who already recieved this missive but I would like to 
>know from you all if any one else has found any documentation supporting the 
>tankard hanging off the belt.....

Let's think about this.
After hitting the more basic sources (Luttrel Psalter, Gaston de Foix's 
Hunting Book, Ye Olde Bigge Boke of Paint on Parchment, and so forth,
the only things I find hanging from belts are pouches, knives, penners
& ink horns, crossbow quivers, and sounding horns (and those are hung by 

So, does that mean cups were never worn?  Don't be silly.  We can't *prove*
that Henry II didn't vote Republican.  OTOH, were they commonly worn from
the belt?  No, not from this evidence.

Moreover, unless I'm mistaken *cups* don't make much of an appearance
anyway.  Sure, we know they had them, we find cup sherds all the time,
(actually, we find sherds all the time, but I need to check the kind)
but often I'm led to believe that some people used whatever was at hand
including a picture of a feast in de Foix that clearly shows only ONE cup
being used by one of the thirteen people in the picture (and he appears 
to be one of the servants) while two of the others are shown drinking from 
costrels, with other costrels lying about.  The argument might be made
that they are eating outside, but after all isn't that sort of spontaneous
thirst quenching the sort of reason that one would wear one's cup 

Clearly the question is then, who WOULD wear a tankard or cup hanging from
their belts?  Rich people and Nobles?  Of course not, *they* have servants
to take care of such things.  Townsmen?  They HIRE people to take care of
things like that.  Peasants and serfs?  Where would they use them?  While
working in the fields?  That's what costrels are for.

For that matter, how would they be hung?  Earthenware cups are relatively
fragile.  Cups with handles are as rare as blue blood on a battlefield.
Leather tankards with handles *might* have existed before the 1500s, but I
can't say one way or the other.  OTOH, they might have carried them in
cup holders (leather cases for them), but they would still be safer if
kept in the luggage, or in one's haversack.

I. Marc Carlson, Reference Librarian    |LIB_IMC at CENTUM.UTULSA.EDU
Tulsa Community College, West Campus LRC|Sometimes known as:
Reference Tech. McFarlin Library        | Diarmuit Ui Dhuinn 
University of Tulsa, 2933 E. 6th St.    | University of Northkeep 
Tulsa, OK  74104-3123 (918) 631-3794    | Northkeepshire, Ansteorra

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