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Whimsy-art - 8/22/04


"A New Art/Sci. Category: A Whimsical Proposal" Ld. Daniel Raoul le Vascon.


NOTE: See also the files: 12thC-Hole-art, AS-compet-msg, AS-cont-docu-msg, 5x8-Doc-art, AS-events-msg, AS-ideas-msg, AS-food-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called Stefan’s Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



A New Art/Sci. Category: A Whimsical Proposal

by Ld. Daniel Raoul Le Vascon du Navarre’


        Many years ago I attended a traveling exhibition of artifacts recovered from the Mary Rose, a 16th century English naval vessel which was lost at sea.   One of its more intriguing exhibits was a display consisting of a number of mysterious objects for which the archeologists could not discern a purpose.  The sign on the display requested that the viewers of the exhibition might provide some suggestions.  I submit that the inclusion of such a mystery category in Art/Sci competitions and displays might be both amusing and educational.  I propose that the rules for the category be as follows:


1.) The object must have been a practical item in general use in the old world after 200 AD and before 1600 AD.


2.)  The use of the object, as reconstructed, must not be immediately obvious to the casual observer.


3.) The object, as reconstructed, should not be so ornamented as to obscure its intended purpose.


4.) The entrant should be able document the object and demonstrate its use.


5.) The use of the object must be within the bounds of good taste and decorum.


        It is suggested that the ideal object to be recreated might best be a tool which modern technology has either rendered generally obsolete or altered so substantially that its original antecedent form can no longer be discerned.   The entries would be displayed without explanation except for sheets on which guesses could be recorded.  Documentation would be provided with each entry in a sealed envelope to be opened by the judges after their guesses are recorded.  I suggest that in addition to conventional judging criteria a befuddlement factor, based on the recorded guesses might be calculated as well.    



Copyright 1999 by Daniel C. Phelps, 3359B Trafalgar Square, Tallahassee, Florida 32301.  email: <phelpsd at gate.net>. Permission is granted for republication in

SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in

the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also

appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being

reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org