[Ansteorra] Period furs- short rebuttal

Holly Frantz hefrantz at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 26 06:29:53 PST 2001

Sir Dietrich, I'm sorry but I have to disagree with
you.  I'm familiar with all of the portraits that
you've mentioned and I've looked at them again.  In
these portraits, these ties are obviously attached to
the top or shoulder of the outer garment.  Now, that
shoulder may actually extend half-way down the arm so
that it appears that the ties are attached on the arm
itself but they are really attached to the outer
garment and don't extend from the arm of the shirt or
chemise.  In most of these portraits it's also very
easy to see that what is depicted is a wide ribbon or

The only portrait that has clothes and ties that bear
a resemblence to the family portrait I mentioned is
Tura's "Portrait of a Young Man".  Though, if they are
the same, then the unknown artist of Uberto de'
Sacrati's family did an exceedinly poor job of
rendering the ties, choosing to make them all a
stylized shape and hanging as if they had a certain
amount of weight and not free-hanging ribbons or ties.

--- "C. Weed" <cweed at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> Niccola Setaro penned:
> For two examples of animal tails and parts (not
> necessarily ermine) in period portraiture, please
> see:
> Family of Uberto de' Sacrati, c. 1480, possibly a
> family of idiots?
> Man with a Golden Paw, c. 1527, may be a real paw,
> may
> be jewelry
> Both available at the web gallery of art.
> http://gallery.euroweb.hu/
> ***********
> In the family portrait you refer to, the prominent
> 'danglies' depending from
> the upper sleeves of both father and son are not, in
> point of fact, animal
> tails.  Rather, they are thick cloth points used to
> attach the outer sleeves
> (obviously not pictured here).  The wide bow-tie
> type points first appear on
> the fashion scene around the time of this portrait
> (c. 1480)and can widely
> be seen up through the cavalier period.
> Ghirlandaios "Herrods Banquet" has
> several examples of that same strange mid-sleeve
> placement. Other examples
> of points of a similar thickness can be found at the
> site you mentioned in
> the following portraiture (I didn't get past the
> letter 'D' in the 1550s but
> I think this will do for a start):
> 1470-1500
> BOLTRAFFIO, Giovanni Antonio "Portrait of a Young
> Woman"
> BOTTICELLI, Sandro "Portrait of an Unknown Personage
> with the Medal of
> Cosimo il Vecchio"
> COSTA, Lorenzo "Portrait of a Woman"
> TURA, Cosme "Portrait of a Young Man"
> 1500-1550
> BORGOÑA, Juan de "Lady with a Hare"
> BRONZINO, Agnolo "Lucrezia Panciatichi"
> DÜRER, Albrecht "Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman"
> I would like to add my own short qualifiers,
> however, concerning tails and
> fur:
> Firstly, that ermine tails seem to have always been
> outside the regular
> implication that other animal tails seem to
> represent.  Their tiny black dot
> seems to consistently have been just the chic
> addition to judicial and royal
> robes from the 1300s onwards.
> Secondly, that fox seems to have risen sharply in
> popularity in the 16th
> century (but only readily available to the upper and
> upper-middle class yet
> again).  Fox tails, however, still indicate that the
> wearer is drooling on
> the church steps.
> Lastly, that as Lady Niccola pointed towards
> already, there became in the
> late 15th century and all through the 16th century
> an affinity for other
> animal bits to be gilded and trussed with loot and
> toted about as jewelry.
> Heads and feet seem to be the rule on these morbid
> little treasures.
> Although not represented on the Web Gallery of Art,
> Moroni did a wonderful
> portrait of a lady in pink (recently on display in
> Dallas) with what can
> only be described as The Great Gilded Weasel Head of
> Gaud.  It's creepy and
> cool, all in one... kind of Addams Family meets the
> Medici Family.
> Sir Dieterich
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