Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

p-tableware-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

p-tableware-msg - 2/1/11

 

Period tableware, knives, spoons, forks, salt cellars. Paintings and other period references to tableware.

 

NOTE: See also these files: feastgear-msg, utensils-msg, iron-pot-care-msg, pottery-msg, spoons-msg, forks-msg, jugs-pitchrs-lnks, table-fountns-msg.

 

KEYWORDS: tableware knives forks spoons mugs chalices cups

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                 AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From: vcarpentier at berksys.com (Victoria Carpentier)

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Request:medieval feast

Date: 23 Sep 1994 23:15:06 GMT

Organization: BSI

 

> >I want recipes to cook a medieval feast, with my kids.  We have read a few

> >>kids books that describe the royal banquet.  They didn't have plates, they

 

> "They didn't have plates" is an overstatement.  I believe at least the

> wealthier feasters would have trenchers ON plates.  Anyway, many rich

 

You can find references to wooden and pewter plates in art works and old

writings.  At least for the Rennaissance.  Bowls were also common.

 

Victoria

 

 

From: jtn at cse.uconn.EDU (J. Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period tableware and dishes

Date: 20 Mar 1995 20:57:59 -0500

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Lady Bronwen Selwyn writes:

 

> I have been asked to teach a class on Period place settings....

>

> I am fairly...{18 months}...new to SCA and do not know much more that from

> personal experience.  I would appreciate it if anyone could help give me

> some facts on the matter, in particular, forks.  I have heard so many

> various things on them.  I know about being three pronged and making there

> way from Italy. But there always seems to be a great deal of variance on

> the time, anywhere from beginning in the 13th century to being only late

> period.  Also I am curious as to what social classes tended to use them.

 

With regard to forks, there was an article by Catherina Sforza d'Agro

in _TI_ about five years ago on forks; someone in your area may have

the edition.  (Sorry, my _TI_s are in Virginia, and I'm in Connecticut.)

 

However, that isn't where I'd start, in your place.  If you have access

to a serious library, look for (or request by interlibrary loan) the

following volume:

 

        Furnivall, Frederick J., _Early English Meals and Manners_,

          Early English Text Society Original Series #32, (London:

          Oxford University Press), 1868.

 

Don't be scared away by the date!  This is an edition of several period

manuscripts on the subject, including John Russell's Boke of Nurture,

Wynkyn de Worde's Boke of Kervynge, and the Boke of Curtasye.  They

include all _kinds_ of details about how tables should be set.  The

scholarship of the edition is as fine as you will find.

 

Many, many libraries have copies of the Early English Text Society's

series; this is quite accessible.

 

-- Angharad

 

 

From: HPGV80D at prodigy.com (Patricia Hefner)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period tableware and dishes

Date: 25 Mar 1995 05:55:21 GMT

Organization: Prodigy Services Company  1-800-PRODIGY

 

Mikjal--I found reference to "vessels" in the early regulations of the

College de Sorbonne from around 1260. Napkins are also mentioned, but

forks are not! ---Isabelle

 

 

From: jerryn at crl.com (Kati Norris)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period tableware and dishes

Date: 25 Mar 1995 17:50:14 GMT

Organization: Cathlin ban Gerald / Stargate / Ansteorra

 

In article <3kvugp$80v at giga.bga.com>, cmwalden at bga.com (Antonio Bastiano) says:

>jtn at cse.uconn.EDU (J. Terry Nutter) says:

>>> I have been asked to teach a class on Period place settings....

>Actually, one discovery that I have made about period settings is rather

>interesting.  We spend a great deal of time discussing flatware, but from

>what I have seen the centerpiece of the table was the salt-cellar.  It

>was a container for holding salt, and from early period to late period

>was designed to make a statement.  They were ornate and usually designed

>to look as though they contained more than they did--with pedestals and

>bulky decoration.

>I have been assembling a salt cellar from "bits."  It does change the

>point of view of the table. Gives it a different emphasis.  (It's so

>hard for us to relate to because we throw salt on the street and try not

>to over use it on our food!)

>Yours, etc.

>Antonio Bastiano

>or cmwalden at bga.com

 

We've been trying to get a small wooden (or ceramic) bowl and tiny

spoon for a salt cellar.  But I've also read in Life in Medieval

Cities (or Times) that the salt was put in a piece of bread with a

hole scooped out for the salt. We'd also like a place to keep pepper

(OOP I know because of the cost back then) and garlic powder on the

table.  It seems that feast fare lacks these items and my lord

(almost) requires them in his food.  Any suggestions will be most

welcome.

 

Many thanks,

Caitlin ban Gerald

Barony of Stargate / Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

 

From: schuldy at abel.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period tableware and dishes

Date: 28 Mar 1995 20:02:43 GMT

 

Someone (lost in the attributions) wrote:

  I have been asked to teach a class on Period place settings....

 

Do take the time to find "The Boke of Nurture" John Russell, reprinted by

the Early English Text Society. It covers linens, napkins, table service

and more.

 

It actually explained a few modern things for me.... if you go to a proper

restaurant, the waiter serves from over your left shoulder.  Why?  Boke of

Nurture mentions that a long napkin should be placed on your lap, and over

your left shoulder, so the server doesn't drip with a full plate on you...

 

Some day, probably not far off, I am going to prepare full table service

that matches what is required by Boke of Nurture.  Teach my friends and

frequent table mates to use it, and have a *good* time.

 

        Tibor (working from memory, and therefore possibly in error)

--

Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)

 

 

From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Dinner in Poland in 1220

Date: 5 Jul 1995 17:41:42 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

Cc: jenn at sover.net

 

Jennifer Frizzell (jenn at maple.sover.net) wrote:

:      Somebody help! I'm trying to recreate a Polish Counts

: tablesetting in a 1220 period.

 

Let me begin by saying that Poland of any period is not something that I

have made a study of, so I can't say much to the specifics of this

question, but I can, perhaps, give advice on the approach.

 

:  Now let me give you everything I know so

: far. Glass wasn't introduced to poland until 1500,

 

I would be very surprised to discover that this was true. Even if Poland

did not develop a significant local glass industry until this time

(something I find improbable), imports of luxury glass items would still

be expected.

 

: lace wasn't introduced

: until 1480 and silver smithing was in it's glory at about 1200 so it

: seems obvious that silver and wood are the predominate products used in

: tableware.

 

What about ceramics? Horn? Baser metals such as bronze and pewter?

 

:      The real questions lay in what utensils were used.  What were the

: designs in the plates and what kind of plates were used.

:      Also, since most of the main food animals were goat-sized or

: smaller, then most of the plates would only be about 1ft in diameter or

: less.

 

Does this really follow? Plates for personal service are rarely designed

for entire animals. If the meat has been parboiled, hacked into gobbets,

and cooked into a sauce, how does the size of the animal relate to the

size of the plate?

 

:  Also, pitchers for milk would be small due to the lack of

: refrigeration capabilities (you try and use it up before it gets bad).

 

Pitchers are generally used for temporary transport and ease of service.

To this end, the functional constraints tend to be how easy they are to

lift and manoever and how much of the contents is likely to be wanted at

a particular event. Again, I think you are focussing on irrelevant

factors, which makes it hard to come to accurate conclusions.

 

The best places to begin, if you want to learn something about 13th

century Polish tableware would be illustrated catalogs of relevant

archaeological digs, and artistic representations of the period. Are

there illuminated manuscripts dating from Poland in this era? Many

biblical scenes involve eating, and the common custom in such

illuminations is to reflect contemporary (not actual Biblical) practice.

I note that one of my costuming books has illustrations from something

referred to as "The Maciejowski Bible" dating from the 13th century (in

the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library). While the name appears to

be Polish, it isn't clear whether it refers to the books original

provenance or simply to some later owner, but it would certainly be a

place to start.

 

These types of approaches will be far more profitable in the long run

than conclusions based on speculation alone.

 

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

 

 

From: mwl at celsiustech.se (Matt Larsen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Dinner in Poland in 1220

Date: 7 Jul 1995 11:03:43 +0200

Organization: CelsiusTech AB

 

Jennifer Frizzell (jenn at maple.sover.net) wrote:

:      Somebody help! I'm trying to recreate a Polish Counts

: tablesetting in a 1220 period.  Now let me give you everything I know so

: far.

 

I've been looking at table service in the 14th and 15th centuries for

a while, although mostly in France and England.  So some of what I know

may apply, but I can't really promise anything :-)  

 

: Glass wasn't introduced to poland until 1500, lace wasn't introduced

: until 1480

 

To the best of my knowledge this is correct.  They seem to have table cloths

and sometimes napkins, though.

 

: and silver smithing was in it's glory at about 1200 so it

: seems obvious that silver and wood are the predominate products used in

: tableware.

 

Others have suggested pottery, and it is certainly true that pottery was

in use throughout the period, so this may be an alternative for you.  But

I believe you are also correct in believing that any wealthy person would

have eaten off of or at least drunk from silver.  The goblet or cup as

we know it seems to have been a relatively late fashion, and it seems

that most drinking was done from bowls. These are known as "hanaps"

when made from silver (or gold), and are sometimes decorated with engraving

or other forms of decoration.  Wooden drinking bowls were called "mazurs"

and again are sometimes elaborately decorated, usually with carving or a

foot or rim of silver.  Various shapes were used, but a common one is

very similar to what we think of as a normal bowl with a bit of an upward

bulge in the center.

 

:      The real questions lay in what utensils were used.  What were the

: designs in the plates and what kind of plates were used.

 

As for utensils, knives come in two types: large (approx. 1 foot long)

carving and serving knives and smaller eating knives.  Almost all eating

knives seem to have been single edged, and the most common shape is a

straight back edge extending from the top of the handle to the point,

with the blade curving down slightly from the handle underneath and

then up to meet the back at the point (Hmm.  I'm not sure this is

very clear.  You really need to see a picture of one...).  Forks were

relatively uncommon, usually two tined, and seem to have been mostly

used for eating sticky deserts.  Spoons have a wide, shallow bowl,

almost too large to fit in the mouth, and a straight handle extending

back to (usually) some kind of decorative knop.  Handles tend to be

slim and long in England and France, and short and thick in Scandanavia.

Your guess is as good as mine which style prevailed in Poland :-)

Surviving spoons are almost always in silver, and wills and such

suggest that even most middle class people would have owned a few

silver spoons.

 

:      Also, since most of the main food animals were goat-sized or

: smaller, then most of the plates would only be about 1ft in diameter or

: less.  

 

In the 16th century plates seem to be mostly large, between 12" and 16",

and surviving examples are as likely to be pewter as they are to be

silver.  There are very few existing plates (that I've found) from

before the 16th c., but iconographical evidence suggests that plates

were often relatively small, more like 7" or so.  One usually sees

servers in the same pictures, so I expect that as soon as one ate

the relatively small amount on ones plate, a server would cut something

new to put on it.  There are some extant wooden plates, and they tend

to be small, again about 7" - 8" in diameter.

 

: Also, pitchers for milk would be small due to the lack of

: refrigeration capabilities (you try and use it up before it gets bad).

 

I think pitchers came in all sizes.  Most of the surviving ones in

precious metals are small, but there are large pottery and leather

jugs.  There are also brass pitchers, and they are often paired with

a basin and would have been used for washing hands before eating.  I

have also seen many pewter pitchers in various sizes, but they mostly

seem to be from the 16th c., although this may simply be that earlier

ones were melted down and remade.  It seems, by the way, that pewter

in general was very popular in the 16th century, because of the rise

of the middle class who were trying to imitate more wealthy people

who ate off of silver.

 

Candlesticks, by the way, were usually of cast brass or bronze, and

were of the pricket variety until quite late in period (about the

latter half of the 16th c.).

 

:      If anyone has any information which could help me in this area,

: please forward it to Jenn at sover.net

 

This is obviously a very quick sketch of this topic.  If anyone has

specific questions, let me know.  I can't cite a lot of reference

works, although I've got a few good ones. Most of what I've learned

I've found out by haunting museums (I've got some interesting photos,

but... :-)

 

Geoffrey Mathias

mjl at rational.com

 

 

From: mjc at telerama.lm.com (Monica Cellio)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wares (was jurying merchants)

Date: 2 Jul 1996 10:35:24 -0400

Organization: Telerama Public Access Internet, Pittsburgh, PA USA

...

And a couple years ago at Pennsic I actually had a

merchant show me documentation. (This was for those utensils that

have tines (like a fork) at one end and a spoon at the other; turns

out they're 9th-century Anglo-Saxon, not a modern invention.  And not

nearly as difficult to eat with as you might think.)

 

Ellisif

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjc/ellisif.html

 

 

From: Patsy Dunham <Patsy.R.Dunham at CI.Eugene.OR.US>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period knives and shoes (was jurying merchants)

Date: 3 Jul 1996 15:56:44 GMT

Organization: City of Eugene, Eugene OR USA

 

For a good Norse eating knife, check your local hardware store.  We have

found Swedish knife blanks (blade is about 4 1/2", tang is 3 1/2") that

look exactly right; all you have to do is add a handle.  (they're

imprinted with the co. name and "Suede" in a little round pattern near

the hilt end of the blade-- sorry I can't be more specific but mine's at

home, not at work)

 

For period shoes (esp. Norse), short of do-it-yourselfing, you can also

try taking your pattern to the local hippie marketplace (we have a BIG

Saturday Market here about 9 mo. of the year) and look for the best

moccasin/boot maker...

 

Chimene

chimenedes at aol.com

 

 

From: bhw at psyc.nott.ac.uk

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Table settings

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 13:17:59 +0100

Organization: Cripps Computing Centre, The University of Nottingham

 

Kristine E. Maitland wrote:

> I'm entering a contest (next Septentrian 12th Night) which involves

> setting a table.  Can anyone recommend books/journal articles/primary

> sources on table setting (ceramics, glassware, silverware, linens etc...)

> circa early 1500s Italy.

 

I have seen an absolutely superb book for this - it contained hundreds

of pictures from renaissance italian paintings to illustrate

domestic architecture, including table settings. One thing I remember

particularly is that a common drinking vessel is a clear straight

sided glass - it looks exactly like a modern "highball" glass.

Now, annoyingly, I can't find the reference: if anyone could help

out I'd be grateful.

 

Caitlin

 

 

From: odlin at reed.edu (Iain Odlin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Table settings

Date: 25 Sep 1996 09:31:47 GMT

 

Kristine E. Maitland wrote:

> I'm entering a contest (next Septentrian 12th Night) which involves

> setting a table.  Can anyone recommend books/journal articles/primary

> sources on table setting (ceramics, glassware, silverware, linens etc...)

> circa early 1500s Italy.

 

  *The* book to look for:  The Italian Renaissance Interior 1400-1600

  by Peter Thornton.  ISBN 0-8109-3459-0.  Nearly five hundred pictures in

  four hundred pages. Excellent source, hard to find.

 

  -Iain, who got his copy at a used bookstore for $15 from the "It's been here

   for a long time" bin

------------------------- Iain Odlin, odlin at reed.edu -------------------------

                      42 Clifton Street, Portland ME 04101

 

 

From: pat at lalaw.lib.CA.US (Pat Lammerts)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Table settings

Date: 25 Sep 1996 19:47:42 -0400

 

It was written:

>  *The* book to look for: The Italian Renaissance Interior 1400-1600

>  by Peter Thornton.  ISBN 0-8109-3459-0.  Nearly five hundred pictures in

>  four hundred pages. Excellent source, hard to find.

>  -Iain, who got his copy at a used bookstore for $15 from the "It's been here

>   for a long time" bin

 

Boy, what a bargain you got, Iain!

 

The book is still in print and, per Books in Print, it is $125.00.

 

Here are the details:

 

Thornton, Peter, 1926-

  The Italian Renaissance interior, 1400-1600 / Peter Thornton.

New York : H.N. Abrams, 1991.

  407 p. : ill. (some col.), plans ; 27 cm.

 

  ISBN 0810934590

 

or, since Kristine is in Canada, here is the British version for L65.00:

 

Thornton, Peter.

  The Italian Renaissance interior, 1400-1600 / Peter Thornton.

London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, c1991.

  407 p. : ill. (some col.), plans ; 27 x 27 cm.

 

  ISBN 0297830066

 

Huette

(pat at lalaw.lib.ca.us)

 

From: deewolff at aol.com (DeeWolff)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Table settings

Date: 25 Sep 1996 20:17:59 -0400

 

"The Art of Dining- A History of Cooking and Eating" Sara Paston-Williams

( The National Trust1993 ), I got it from Poison Pen Press in the East

Kingdom. Excellent background on food, tables set, and service of such.

Wish you luck !! Andrea MacIntyre of Ostgardr

 

 

From: afn03234 at freenet2.afn.org (Ronald L. Charlotte)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Table settings

Date: 27 Sep 1996 11:13:56 GMT

 

bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland) wrote:

> I'm entering a contest (next Septentrian 12th Night) which involves

> setting a table.  Can anyone recommend books/journal articles/primary

> sources on table setting (ceramics, glassware, silverware, linens etc...)

> circa early 1500s Italy. Articles on the same for the Mamluks and the

> Ottoman empire would also be appreciated.

 

> Ines

 

The first that comes to mind is Castiglione's _Book of the Courtier_.

 

Another is by R. Strong, _Splendour at Court: Renaissance Spectacle and

Illusion_.  I have heard recommended _Savouring the Past: the french

Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789_ by B. Ketchan Wheaton, but I've not

yet had a chance to read it.

--

     al Thaalibi ---- An Crosaire, Trimaris

     Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL

     afn03234 at afn.org

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 14:01:18 -0500 (CDT)

From: timbeck at ix.netcom.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Chalice, goblet, something

 

>It is my intentions to attempt a drinking vessel and maybe a bowl and plate

>in brass for Queens Prize. Just looking for documation ideas.  Know of any

>good books?

>Ld Malgar Thorvik

 

I found a great book for documentation of high-end medieval cups, &c. is

_Secular Goldsmith's Work in Medieval France: A History_ by Ronald W.

Lightbown, F.S.A.  ISBN 0 500 99027 1  You might be able to get it from

Amazon.  Also there is a medieval catalog of 1940 (or something to that

effect) put out by the Museum of London which has a some pieces which

represent the more common items of the time.  This book covers many topics

and the cup info may be sparse. Beakers are a cool item which seem to

have come in all levels of cost and quality and are certainly under

represented in the SCA....So are most metal cups for that matter...

 

Hope this helps,

Timothy

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 23:57:49 -0500 (CDT)

From: Mark Weiland <gryfon at execpc.com>

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #208

 

>From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

 

I must apologise for not making it clear that most, but not all, of my

research is focused on the Italian Peninsula of the 13th thru 17th centuries.

 

>Hmm. While in general I agree with you, but when you say that

>presentation is more vital to an accurate recreation of period food than

>we give it credit for, you lose me. It's not that I don't feel

>presentation is important, but it sounds, from what you say, that you

>are superimposing modern values on our medieval or renaissance

>counterparts.

 

While many good cooks in the Society go to great lengths to ensure well

researched recipes, how many times is the hall and table setting catch as

catch can. The first part of Cristoforo da Messisbugo's BANCHETTI is

dedicated to who came to dinner, how to set the hall, how many table cloths

to place on the table, how many silver candlesticks should be used, how many

silver salt cellars to use, and more in the same vain. When Montaigne

visited Rome in 1580 he wrote"In front of those to whom they want to do

particular honor,who are seated beside of opposite the master, they place

big silver squares on which their salt cellar stands, of the same sort they

put before the great in France. On top of this there is a napkin folded in

four and on this napkin is the bread, knife, fork, and spoon."

In Sano di Pietro's (1406-1481) painting the ST. PETER HEALING PETRONELLA

one can see wonderful clear glass carafes and glasses filled with red wine.

There are more paintings that help us to come to a more clear understanding

of what a period table and meal would have looked like and I contend that

the guests (nobles) did not bring their own plates,linens and candles and

that the food was presented in the most appealing way possible.

 

<snip>

 

Balthazar

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 18:17:55 -0500

From: vjarmstrong at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)

Subject: Re: SC - Carving books?

 

Several years ago I got a great German book on carving through interlibrary

loan. The title says that it's about table customs to the end of the Middle

Ages, but as I recall there was quite a lot about carvers and  the art of

carving. It's a good secondary source and if you can handle the German

worth looking up. There are also some great photographs of dishes and

eating utensils.

 

Schiedlausky, Gunther. Essen und trinken: Tafelsitten bis zum Ausgang des

Mittelalters.

        Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1956.

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 21:37:26 EDT

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy A Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wooden feast gear documentation

 

>A question has been put to me by a member of my canton, as to

>documentation for a set of wooden feast gear she would like to make -

>what it might look like (plates vs. trenchers, for instance), what kind

>of wood to use, etc. She has been having some trouble finding adequate

>resources locally.

>Rhodri ap Hywel

 

This may help just a little: in "medieval Pottery in Britain AD900-1600"

by McCarthy and Brooks, there is a chapter on alternatives to clay wares

and I believe there is a photo of a wooden platter.

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 08:53:47 -0500

From: vjarmstrong at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wooden feast gear documentation

 

>A question has been put to me by a member of my canton, as to

>documentation for a set of wooden feast gear she would like to make -

>what it might look like (plates vs. trenchers, for instance), what kind

>of wood to use, etc. She has been having some trouble finding adequate

>resources locally.

 

There are some pictures in Essen und Trinken: Tafelsitten bis zum Ausgang

des Mittelalters by Guenther Schiedlausky that show round wooden plates.

These are simple rounds of wood with no rim of any kind - soupy stuff would

run off the sides. One group of plates is completely unadorned, but there is

another set that has scenes painted in the center, like sewing, harvesting,

etc. from different months of the year. There is lettering running around

the the outside the painted scene. Schiedlausky doesn't say what kind of

wood it is, but hardwood seems reasonable. Should be easy to make.

 

Have you looked at any Brueghel peasant paintings? He depicts feasts in

simple settings, maybe he shows some wooden tableware along with the

pottery.

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: 21 May 98 09:06:12 AST

From: RMcGrath at dca.gov.au

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wooden feast gear documentation

 

I would suggest that you look at The Wedding.

http://familiar.sph.umich.edu/cjackson/bruegel1/p-brueg1-7.htm

 

In the foreground you can see table ware.

 

Rakhel

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 04:59:48 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Wooden feast gear

 

I just remembered I saw an article on turning of bowls etc in a UK

re-enacting  mag some time again as I remember most were turned wet, bowls

were popular not platters or plates as the wood warped and a platter then

became unusable. If you want more I think there is some refs etc, let me

know and I'll try to find it , otherwise it might be on the web page of the

mag. Search for CALL TO ARMS they have a web page.

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:56:22 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - feastware question

 

kiriel at cybergal.com writes:

<< Don't forget everyone; glassware has been around forever.  Jugs, mugs,

glasses, bowls, the lot. People seem to forget glass and only go for

ceramic, metal or wood. . .

 

More glass more glass!

 

Kiriel >>

 

This is correct. The Cloisters in NYC has a collection of medieval glassware

on display that is to die for. The intricacy of the patterns is astounding.

They even have salt cellars of hand blown crystal that look like ships with

rigging and sales all done in glass. There is a tendency for some

recreationists to wrongly emphasize the simple wares when the reality of

medieval culture is exactly the opposite.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:58:20 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - feastware question

 

parlei at algonet.se writes:

<< Considering the most likely price of extensive amounts of glass in "my"

time and place I would not have been using much of it.  >>

 

According to the tour guide at the Cloisters glass plates, etc. were 'common'

enough that wagons went around collecting the broken glass dishes so they

could be remelted and fashioned into more glassware. This does not indicate

that they were either rare of terribly expensive.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 16:02:23 -0500

From: capriest at cs.vassar.edu (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: placemat size? [SCA]

 

Eachna wrote:

>My question (I realize it's not *your* question, but, just to clarify since

>I started the thread), is not about the "periodness" of things. It's about

>what size placemat people use with feast gear.

 

The ones I just wove are about 11x17" finished size.  We use placemats every

day at home (although never at feasts), and that's a fairly typical size for

boughten ones also.

 

>OTOH, it would be interesting to learn when placemats were developed...my

>first guess would be whenever tablecloths were first valued for their

>decorative purposes...(that is, to catch drips and stains from food

>dropping off plates)

 

"Valued for their decorative purposes" is, I suspect, in the eye of the

beholder. ;>  After all, linen cloths, even plain ones, can be easier on the

eyes than boards over trestles! And they're easier to launder than pretty

much anything out there; linen seems to thrive on hot water and soap.

 

Copious napkins, towels, and cloths were used at table (read some of the

fifteenth-century English treatises about table service in _Early English

Meals and Manners_--it's fascinating!), perhaps obviating the need for

specialized mats.  The sixteenth century was a high point in the weaving of

elaborate linen damasks for table use, but I've never heard of a placemat

that early.

 

Carolyn Priest-Dorman                 Thora Sharptooth

capriest at cs.vassar.edu                Frostahlid, Austrriki

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 09:36:10 SAST-2

From: "Christina van Tets" <ivantets at botzoo.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - goblet covers

 

Do the covers have to be cloth? There are plenty of secular goblet

pictures which have a matching lid (not quite hemispherical, with

knob).  The only time I have seen a cloth cover is the square kind

that covers the paten dish (for holding the bread) when it is on top

of the chalice in a communion set, and I don't think that's awfully

appropriate.

 

Cairistiona

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 19:43:50 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Spoon Book from Coventry

 

Well, here goes another citation from Magnus -

(If we all do enough of them maybe we can all get authentic.

I remember when you couldn't find a decent sword.)

 

I got a book today from a used bookstore in Scotland:

 

Pewter Spoons and Other Related Material of the 14th - 17th Centuries.

By Sara Muldoon and Roger Brownsword

In the collection of the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum Coventry.

Published Apparently by the City of Coventy Leisure Services

ISBN 0901606286 Paper, no date. Looks very recent though.

Large Format, a bit over 30 pages with good illustrations and

schematics of spoon handle shapes. Shows the major bottom part of

one mold quite clearly. 31 large clear illustrations.

Has a detailed analysis of alloys including latten, and

a short discussion of molding and casting techniques and materials.

Page and a third biblography.

 

If anyone learns of any other books from this series I'd like

to have them cite them.

 

Magnus

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 12:34:37 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>

Subject: SC - pictures of feasts

 

Lady Diana said:

<<< Maybe others will have time to offer sources from other countries >>>

 

Jean-Louis Flandrin/Carole Lambert, 'FĂȘtes gourmandes au Moyen Age'

(Paris 1998) has pictures with stuff mostly from French collections, but

also from Swiss collections, from the Netherlands and from Belgium. A

beautiful book.

 

Best, Thomas

(I have not seen this one up to now: E. Schirmer: Die deutsche Irdenware

des 11.-15. Jahrhunderts im engeren Mitteldeutschland. Jena 1939.)

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 10:16:01 EST

From: RuddR at aol.com

Subject: SC - pictures of feasts

 

Gwyneth asks:

"I have a friend who does pottery and has volunteered to make me some

plates, bowls, etc. to use when I do period displays, meals, and the like.

What I need are pictures to show him.  Could anyone recomend a few good

source books or perhaps a web site or two?"

 

Check out Master Huen's "Feast for the Eyes" at:

http://www.labs.net/dmccormick/medpix.htm

 

and also "The Age of Charles V, Sports and Entertainment" from the

Biblioteque Nationale de France, at:

http://www.bnf.fr/enluminures/themes/t_4/ast_4_02.htm

 

Rudd Rayfield

 

 

Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000 08:32:01 +1100

From: Lorix <lorix at trump.net.au>

Subject: SC - Interesting Period Gadget for washing hands

 

I have a very big failing, I Luuuuuuv gadgets.

Now my eye was caught by a particularly impressive

mid 16th Century doodad for the washing of hands.

 

The picture was in a book by Alison Sim (Food &

Feast in Tudor England). Basically the major form

of it was similar to a modern toy railway engine,

only this little beauty looked to be made out of

gold.  In its middle was placed a small rounded

barrel with a spigot (smaller scale, but like the

wooden barrels that wine is aged in).

 

According to the accompanying text, the internal

mechanism was still in perfect working order and

it was supposed to roll slowly down the feasting

table oozing droplets of rosewater so that people

could clean their hands.

 

It was extremely decorative & I thought it was

rather nifty.  However my husband, a man of

infinite patience with my whims, has refused to

even contemplate the idea of making it.  So I

thought there might be someone out there of an

engineering bent who might like to try it.  It

would certainly liven up high table, think of the

disastrous possibilities that could occur with

ummm inept engineering ;-)

 

Lorix

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 20:36:53 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Tablewear

 

At 3:28 PM -0800 3/10/00, lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

>I know that the prevailing wisdom is that the forks wouldn't really

>have been used in Elizabethan England, but at small fairs we buy our

>food, often Thai stir fried noodles (don't ask), since i'm primarily

>vegetarian, and forks come in handy.

>But a late period Byzantine reenactor says on his website that there

>is evidence of two-pronged forks at that time (i think around the

>time of the of the Seljuk Turks - what's that, 11th to 13th C., i

>think)

>http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~tdawson/tware.html

 

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a Byzantine fork; I don't remember

the date, but I think it is earlier than the 11th century. The

British Museum has an Anglo-saxon fork and spoon set. The Victoria

and Albert Museum published a pamphlet on tableware, which contains a

reproduction of what the author thinks is the first painting showing

someone eating with a fork; my vague memory is that it is about 13th

century.

 

The situation, so far as I can tell, is that forks existed through

most of our period in Europe, as rather uncommon eating

utensils--think of a modern equivalent as a fondue fork, which exists

but isn't used all that often. In the seventeenth century (I think)

they shifted to being part of the standard set of eating utensils. I

believe that forks also existed as cooking utensils through most of

our period.

 

Hope that helps.  So far as practical solutions to eating stir fried

noodles in persona, I would eat them with my (right) hand--as, I

gather, would you. I think eating things that can be eaten with the

fingers but nowadays are not is a useful touch--one more element that

suggests how someone from a different culture would respond to things.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 15:24:19 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Plastic Ware (change to Forks??)

 

Oh goodie....another thread, sort of.  I ran into something Saturday at the

event I cooked, that I thought you all might like ti "chew on".  One of our

metal workers, and a very talented one who does serious research, I might add,

was selling a thing that I christened a "spork".  it is brass, has an early

spoon shape on one end and 3-tined fork on the other.  When I asked, he said he

had documented it as 9th century Anglo-Saxon, and quoted me chapter and verse.

Unfortunately, as I didn't have anything to write on...and my mind was a little

toward the "pudding" stage at that point so I can't remember what he said, I

don't remember where the "chapter and verse" came from.  Any thoughts????

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 15:46:13 EDT

From: RuddR at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Plastic Ware (change to Forks??)

 

Kiri writes,

> Oh goodie....another thread, sort of.  I ran into something Saturday at the

> event I cooked, that I thought you all might like ti "chew on".  One of our

> metal workers, and a very talented one who does serious research, I might  

> add, was selling a thing that I christened a "spork".  it is brass, has an early

>  spoon shape on one end and 3-tined fork on the other.  When I asked, he said

> he had documented it as 9th century Anglo-Saxon, and quoted me chapter and  verse.

>  Unfortunately, as I didn't have anything to write on...and my mind was a

> little

>  toward the "pudding" stage at that point so I can't remember what he said,  I

>  don't remember where the "chapter and verse" came from.  Any thoughts???

 

_European Spoons Before 1700_, by John Emery, John Donald Publishing, Ltd,

1976.

 

P.63 (Northern Europe):

"Of slightly later date are two unfinished combined spoons and forks from a

hoard of coins and silver scrap dug up at Sevington in Wiltshire and dated

about A. D. 850. . . .the earliest appearance of a definite two-pronged fork

[in Northern Europe]. . . ."

 

Rudd Rayfield

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 May 2000 19:04:43 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandapease at bigfoot.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Quinces (and a query about an eating utensil)

 

>  On a completely different subject, does anyone remember an eating utensil

>  which was mentioned on the List a few weeks ago?  It was a spoon on one end

>  and a 3 tined fork on the other.  The poster said that she (I think) had

>  seen it at an event and had been assured by its owner that it was a

>  documentable Anglo-Saxon design.  If anyone can give me further information

>  on this, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

        I have a book: _The Gold, Silver and Other Non-Ferrous Alloy Objects from

Hamwic: The Southampton Finds Volume Two_ by David A. Hinton ISBN:

0-7509-1167-0.  On page 57 it shows several spoon/forks.  They are pointy

spoon bowls (rather like a grapefruit spoon) with a two tine fork on the

other end.  These are definitely not forks for holding something down while

carving it.  They remind me a bit of a fork for getting pickles or olives

out of the bottle.

The introduction to the monograph states that most of the finds date from

between 700-850 CE.

        It also states that:  "A silver 'spoon ' and 'fork' combination, and a

silver double spoon were in the Sevington hoard, with coins of c. 850

(Wilson 1964, nos 67 and 68)."

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 10:01:36 EDT

From: RuddR at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Trenchers Request

 

Elianora Mathewes writes:

>  I'm looking for images of a particular type of wooden

>  trencher used in the 16th century: the primary characteristic

>  of the type is that it has poetry or Biblical quotations and

>  painted decorations on the bottom; the top should be of plain

>  wood.  It was used for serving fruit, and is sometimes

>  referred to as a "roundel."

>  

>  If you could refer me to specific books or even a museum

>  website with pictures of this sort of trencher, I'd be very grateful.

 

There is a fine picture by Georg Flegel, German, ca. 1600s showing lots of

goodies a stack of roundels, glasses and plates, some spoons and a nice

knife, at:

http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/f/p-flegel3.htm

 

Rudd Rayfield

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 19:47:09 -0500

From: Angie Malone <alm4 at cornell.edu>

Subject: SC - Platina and setting a table

 

  I am probably losing my mind with less than a week to go before I cook

the feast, but I have gotten interested in what tables settings were like

and even interested in napkin folding but I am digressing.     : - )

 

  In Platina it says in Book I section 12  On setting a table:

  

  One must set a table according to the time of year; in winter, in

enclosed and warm places, in summer, in cool and open places.  In spring,

flowers are arranged in the dining room and onthe table; in winter, the air

should be redolent with perfumes; in summer, the floor should be stewn with

fragrant boughs of trees, of vine and of willow, which freshen the dining

room, in autumn, let the ripe grapes, pears and apples hang from the

ceiling.  Napkins should be white and the tablecloths spotless, because, if

they were otherwise, they should arouse squeamishness and take away the

desire to eat.  Let a servant scrub the knives andd sharpen their edges so

that diners will not be delayed by dullness of iron.  The rest of the

dishes should be scrubbed clean, whether they are earthen or silver, for

this meticulous care arouses even a sluggish appetite.

 

===

My question is this, if I was to assume that we are now in winter, what

kind of perfumes would we be putting in the air?

 

        Angeline

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 18:28:05 -0700

From: Serian <serian at uswest.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Platina and setting a table

 

> My question is this, if I was to assume that we are now in winter, what

> kind of perfumes would we be putting in the air?

>

>         Angeline

 

My guess would be things like balsam, cedar, frankincense, that sort of thing - woody things.

Serian

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 13:24:09 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Trenchers Oh my!

 

Apparently the broken and damaged dishes were most often replaced before

Lent and Easter and Christmas and Epiphany when the households expected host

the greatest number of guests and personages of rank, so the house would be

displayed at its best.  

 

Bear  

 

> >Ceramic bowls were replenished once or twice a year, just before the high

> >Holy Days.

>

> This piqued my curiosity. Could you explain this bit please? Was

> there a reason this particular time?

>

> Iasmin

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2000 21:32:20 -0500

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

To: medieval-leather at egroups.com

Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] In regards to Esther Cameron's  Leather Scabbard

Thesis

 

Moore, Simon: Cutlery for the Table / A History of British Table and

Pocket Cutlery 1999 The Hallamshire Press, Broom Hall,

Sheffield S10 DR England  Amazon.UK ISBN 1874718563    

320 pp.  35.00 GBP, Shipping  4.95 GBP Total:  39.95 GBP total.

 

Magnus, who does full citations so people can find the damn things.

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 12:16:56 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: SC - Eating Utensils website

 

Reviewed in LIIWEEK:

 

The History of Eating Utensils -

   http://www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/

        Learn about the history of common eating utensils. This

        site covers knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, and

        portable cutlery. Includes graphics and a bibliography.

        See also A History of Eating Utensils in the West: A

        Brief Timeline. From the Rietz Food Technology

        Collection in the Anthropology Department at the

        California Academy of Sciences.

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at mail.browser.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 10:26:46 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Eating Utensils website

 

>Reviewed in LIIWEEK:

>The History of Eating Utensils -

>     http://www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/

>         Learn about the history of common eating utensils. This

>         site covers knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, and

>         portable cutlery. Includes graphics and a bibliography.

>         See also A History of Eating Utensils in the West: A

>         Brief Timeline. From the Rietz Food Technology

>         Collection in the Anthropology Department at the

>         California Academy of Sciences.

>--

>Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise             jenne at mail.browser.net

 

Unfortunately, it isn't very reliable. Under forks, they have:

 

An Englishman named Thomas Coryate brought the first forks back

to England after seeing them in Italy during his travels in 1608.

- --

David Friedman

ddfr at best.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 13:04:49 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Eating Utensils website

 

I believe someone on the list commented that the earliest forks known in

England are from the excavations of Danish York, however nothing is known

about how they were used.

 

For a short, but interesting piece on forks quoting Coryate, try:

 

http://www.byu.edu/ipt/projects/middleages/LifeTimes/TableFork.html

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 16:48:47 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Eating Utensils website

 

Try these:

 

Bailey, C.T.P. Knives and Forks. London: The Medici Society, 1927.

 

Boger, Ann. Consuming Passions: The Art of Food and Drink. Cleveland:

Cleveland Museum of Art, 1983.

 

Flanagan, Laurence. Ireland's Armada Legacy. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan,

1988.

 

Giblin, James Cross. From Hand to Mouth. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1987.

 

Gruber, Alain. Silverware. New York: Rizzoli International Publications,

Inc., 1982.

 

Harrison, Molly. The Kitchen in History. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,

1972.

 

Hayward, J.F. English Cutlery, sixteenth to eighteenth century. London:

Victoria and Albert Museum, 1956.

 

Henisch, Bridget Ann. Fast and Feast, Food in Medieval Society. University

Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976.

 

Millikin, William M. "Early Christian Fork and Spoon", The Bulletin of the

Cleveland Museum of Art, 44(Oct. 1957), 185+.

 

 

Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 16:33:56 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Tableware

 

>Really?  Much of my research indicates that in 12th century England and

>France, they rarely used plates, but used trenchers instead, and that that

>practice carried over for well over a century afterwards.  Certainly there

>are trenchers shown in, among other places, the feasting scenes of the Duc de

>Berry's book of hours, which is 14th century, I believe, and depicts banquets

>served for nobles.

>Certainly there is metalware (mostly utensils and covered hanaps or drinking

>vessels) depicted on the tables, but I don't recall seeing plates that

>frequently for personal eating.  Certainly they appear as serving utensils.

>Brangwayna Morgan

 

This is true- I did some seminar work on it. There is usually very little

on the tables, until VERY late. And- *rummage rummage rummage* I just found

in a box here in my room (along with one of the awfulest papers I ever

wrote- it got an undeserved A-) the 34-page bunch of illos that went with

the seminar paper! Wahoo! It's not in Dad's garage!

 

Ok- what have we here (I will just cite a few examples)...

 

Oh- HEY! Someone was asking the other day about group handwashing? Found

the picture- the one with the 'kiddie pools'- from: _Prose Tristan_,

Italian, ca. 1320-50 (Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Fr. 755, fol.115). It is

figure 31 in Henisch's _Fast and Feast_, but I don't have a page number.

 

Tableware-

 

St.Louis feeding the poor- (BN, MS. Fr. 5716, fol.213) 13th c- there are

large serving dishes, a few bowls, a salt cellar, a goblet, two knives,

assorted bread bits and sops.

 

a Life of Christ (BN, MS. Ital. 115, fol. 79v) 14th c.- manchets, cups,

knives, large serving platters, and some bowls.

 

Judith- (Winchester Bible, f. 331V)- 12thc.- Serving dishes, two salt

cellars, and knives.

 

>From _Old Testament Miniatures_ (Maciejowski Bibile, Morgan, fol. 16

recto)- 13th c.- Serving bowls, drinking bowls, knives, misc. bread (and a

servant cutting what looks like trencher), teh salt, and a ewer.

 

A 14th c text of Arthur and the Round Table (I don't have the cite- sorry)

shows a rounded horseshoe table, with a fringed cloth, and serving dishes,

knives, drinking cups, and manchets.

 

A 13th c _Parzival_ (again, no cite) shows the cloth with elaborate folds

in the front, the scrolly name-tag things on important people, and salts,

serving dishes, and scored bread/manchets.

 

January, _Tres Riches Heures_ (early 15th c, BTW) shows a variety of food

prep going on on the table, assorted serving dishes, a couple of bowls, an

enourmous nef, and two Taco Bell-size dogs. Gorgeous tablecloth too.

 

Luttrel Psalter, f. 208- Serving dishes, knives, cups and bowls, two

spoons, and assorted bread. Servant in front has the appropiate towel- one

of the earlier depictions of the fringed towel.

 

>From Queen Mary's Psalter (British Museum, MS. Royal 2B. VII, fol. 199v.)

Serving dishes, a knife, a salt, two ewers, bread, and sops.

 

Also from the _Life of Christ_ (BN, MS. Ital. 115, fol. 71v.) Jesus is

being fed in the desert- and the angels lay out a lovely picnic lunch,

complete with tablecloth over a rock, and two angels to do teh handwashing!

On the tablecloth- a serving platter, a cup, two manchets, and a ewer.

 

Fairly late, from the Coronation of Ann of Brittany (_the Banquet_, fol.

54v.) Lots of serving plates, but there appears to be a few individual

platters on the table. But I would not want my servers wearing such big

sleeves!

 

I personally have been paring down- trying to think in terms of how Elaine

would have eaten in 1402, and finding that it changes how I think about

food. I usually have- a small wooden plate (stand in for a trencher, which

we seldom have and I usually don't have time to bake and then drive several

hours), a small bowl, my stubby brass cup (short-footed, or I would call it

a chalice), a spoon for soup, and one of my serving towels as a napkin. A

knife if I remember, but usually I have to borrow from Edouard- which is

actually a more period thing to do. Mostly, I eat with my fingers. Bits of

bread for sauces are nice. But you know, eating that way greatly increases

my understanding of the manners texts- you know, about not wiping you hands

on the pets, or the tablecloth, and wiping your mouth so you don't leave

food grease in a shared cup... Yup. Nuthin quite like trying it their way

to understand what they're doing...

 

'Lainie

 

 

From: "Mercy Neumark" <mneumark at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 08:34:24 -0800

Subject: [Sca-cooks] re: english and french pottery was re: tableware

 

>I just don't think I can support it being used as plates/trenchers to >eat

>off of, that's all. Nor can I support wood or metal for the same >purpose.

>They don't appear in teh pictures, nor in inventories, etc. But when >they

>finally appear in very late period, the majority seem to be metal, and

>'plate' was a popular thing to pawn if you got into difficulties.

 

I have pictures from the J.Paul Getty Museum of plates from 1275 and

onwards, which were used to eat off of on a daily basis and not as serving

dishes (I do have pictures of serving dishes too).  I can scan the sketches

of plates that were found in England as well if it would help. I also have

"Three Books of the Potter" by Picilopasso (misspelling his name horribly)

that was written roughly 1535 that goes over not only the production of

pottery, but examples of pottery this gentleman made/saw.  While this is

later period, the pottery he was using in Umbria, I believe, was in business

for a LONG time before that (maiolica potteries began to crop up in Italy in

11th century and began closing down in the 17ish-18th centuries).

 

I'll try to find some painting showing plates because I am pretty certain

that I've seen something. Flemish Still lifes come to mind, but I could

very easily be wrong.  I'll delve deeper into this an report later. :)

 

--Arte the pottery sleuth

 

 

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 10:32:15 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at mail.earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] 12th C. Persian Folding Spoon-Fork

 

Well, i mentioned this 12th C. Persian folding silver spoon-fork on

list at least a month ago - i finally got around to scanning it and

posting it on my website.

 

If you want to take a look at this unusual item:

http://witch.drak.net/lilinah/Persian_Spork.html

 

No, it isn't really a spork, but it saves typing time :-)

 

Taking a wild guess, it could be for eating sweetmeats without

getting one's fingers sticky... it's rather small -  the spoon bowl

is small and flat - and the fork is rather short...

 

I've sent the picture for estimates to the two metalworkers

recommended by folks on the list who contacted me.

 

Anahita

lilinah at earthlink.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 05:17:26 -0800 (PST)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: heraldry & ceramics (morgana.abbey at juno.com)

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Morgana wrote: A friend of mine has a 14th century French persona. She  

is curious if heraldry was put on tableware and if so, how was it  

placed? Did they underglaze it on the rim of the plates, put it  

underneath? Did they do that tacky Nancy Reagan-White House china  

thing? Any ideas?

 

Morgana, I have seen arms on at least plates but it is on Italian  

Majolica from the 15th and 16th century. There are lots of pictures of  

Majolica on the web all you have to do is google.  The Italians were  

inspired by the spanish. The spanish decorated ceramics is called  

hispano-moresque ware (and occured a little ealier).  The spanish in  

turn stole this technique from the arabs, early arabic tin ware.

 

The one thing that all these ceramics have in common is that the  

background is a white tin glaze, which is then painted on with stains  

and chemicals, this is then fired and the colors become brilliant on a  

smooth white background.  The process is technically very difficult,  

consequently pieces were expensive and in period these decorated plates  

were ostentatious displays of wealth. Many of the examples in the  

museums worldwide show no sign of use whatsoever.  They were too  

expensive to eat off, they were displayed in wooden cases.

 

In addition the 14th century is just too early for most of this ware,  

it had not spread to Europe yet, and the arabic ceramics were much more  

abstract.    I don't have too many books on the pottery from france for  

the 14th century but I know that they were responsible for importing  

cooking pots into England for sale there as well as the ever popular  

Rouen drinking jugs. See the Museum of London for some examples of  

imported ceramics.

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/object.asp?obj_id=34537

Fairly common to France was slip decorated ware.  White or cream/grey  

clay body, colored slips in a pattern on the outside and finally a  

clear lead glaze.

 

Hope this helps, but what she wants isn't really appropriate to persona  

or period.  Sorry.

 

Helewyse

Cook and potter :-)

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 09:29:47 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: heraldry & ceramics

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Morgana wrote: A friend of mine has a 14th century French persona. She  

> is curious if heraldry was put on tableware and if so, how was it  

> placed? Did they underglaze it on the rim of the plates, put it  

> underneath? Did they do that tacky Nancy Reagan-White House china  

> thing? Any ideas?

 

If you check through the V&A Access to Images

you can find a number of items that show coats of arms.

There's 17th century earthenware for instance that is quite

splendid. There are several pieces of that in fact.

There are also brass and copper plates with coats of arms.

But I didn't locate anything that is 14th century tableware.

Your friend might consider glassware with coats of arms.

See

Goblet and case

Title  The Luck of Edenhall

Date   13th century

(Case) 14th century

 

The glassware is Mideastern but the case is French or English.

It's also early enough. The description goes into the nobles

buying items in an international market. So someone in France

might have purchased Italian glassware for instance.

There are a number of German glasses

in the V&A with coats of arms but they are 16th century and later.

http://www.vam.ac.uk/

 

The British Museum online has this object up.

http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass

 

The Aldrevandini Beaker Venice, around AD 1330

The Aldrevandini beaker is a uniquely well-preserved example from a

group of glass vessels produced in Venice at the end of the thirteenth

and the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Beneath the inscription are three heraldic shields set against a

background of leaves. Two of the shields are yellow, one decorated with

three blue stags' horns and the other with red keys. The third consists

of black and white horizontal bars. This combination of three different

shields suggests that the heraldry is purely decorative and that the

beaker was not produced for a specific person or family.

 

There are also a number of 16th century Maiolica dishes

such as that From Deruta, Umbria, Italy, around AD 1490-1525 which

feature coats of arms.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 10:42:13 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Heraldry & Ceramics

To: "ca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Greetings.  The Cleveland Museum of Art has some examples.  In one of the

books I have, there's a picture of "lusterware plate with the name of

'Maria'" which also includes what looks to be some armorial design.  This

is earthen ware, tin glazed with golden lustre decoration, 46.2 cm.

diameter, made in Spain, in the second or third decade of the 15th century

around Valencia.  "Large ornamental plates in this style became so renowned

that personalized examples were ordered not only from the four corners of

Spain but also from as far as Italy and France, with the prominent

inclusion of the arms of the owne to be."  There are also several examples

of Maiolica Plate with portraits in the center.  This is earthenware,

tin-glazed again.

 

You noted that your friend's persona is from the 1300s (14th c.) in France.

The Museum's material is about 100 years later (1420, 1430).  You might

want to check to see if lusterware, maiolica or tin-glazed ware was made as

early as the 1300s.  (Found a lovely pitcher painted in  "The Merode

Altarpiece, Annunciation" done by Robert Campin (the Master of Flemalle),

1400s.  While no arms are on it, there are words on the glazed pitcher.)

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 08:43:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Colleen McDonald" <Colleen.McDonald at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Documentation for Presentation

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

When I entered my Condoignac from Le Mesnagier in our Kingdom A&S

competition in 2004, I documented my table setting and service in an

appendix to the main documentation.  Here's a quick listing of the

details.

 

For the handwashing at the beginning of the entry, I used this recipe from Powers' translation of Le Menagier (The Goodman of Paris):  "To prepare water for washing the hands at the table.  Set sage to boil, then pour over the water and let it cool until it is just warm". (Powers 299)

 

I documented my white table coverings using Powers' translation (page 242) and pictures from the Queen Mary Psalter and Giotto's The Marriage at Cana.

 

My judges had individual bread trenchers, based on this passage from

Powers' (page 242):  "Item, two knife-bearers, whereof one is to cut up bread and make trenchers and salt-cellars of bread and they shall carry the salt and the bread and the trenchers to the tables."

 

I used pewter plates for serving dishes in line with what _The Goodman_ directs his young wife to use for a wedding dinner (Powers 243).  "And he shall likewise purvey the pewter vessels; to wit ten dozen bowls, six dozen small dishes, two dozen and a half large dishes, eight quart [pots], two dozen pint [pots], two almsdishes."

 

My judges were provided with spoons and ewers (Powers 243):

"Two other esquires be needed for the service of the dining hall, and they shall give out spoons and collect them again,..."

"The office of the steward is to purvey saltcellars for the high table; hanaps, four dozen; covered gilt goblets, four; ewers, six; silver spoons, four dozen; silver quart [pots], four; ...."

 

My sweetheart and a close friend worked as the servers for my entry

following the directions given in _The Goodman_ (Powers 243):

"Two other esquires be needed for the service of the dining hall, and they shall give out spoons and collect them again, give out hanaps, pour out whichsoever wine be asked for by the guests at table and collect the vessels again."

 

I served the condoignac with an option of bread or wafers (water crackers as I had completely run out of time to make my own) and a French Burgundy wine, the choice of which was documented in the body of my paper.  I actually considered getting a Burgundy from Clos de Vougeot, since that vineyard has been in existence since the 1300's, but at $60 plus a bottle, decided it was too expensive.

 

All in all, it was fun to present and even though the judges didn't seem to notice the presentation, I was glad I made the effort.

 

Cainder

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 19:47:00 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] trenchers

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Aoghann wrote:

> I have heard this before, and it amazes me. When did precious metals and

> fine porcelain start being used in table service? (or restart, as the

> case may be)

 

Fine china (not always porcelain) and silver and bronze/brass were staples on Near and Middle Eastern tables. The Persians also imported celadon ware and blue-and-white wear (often porcelain) from China for hundreds of years in SCA period.

 

And don't forget glass. The use of glass began in either Ancient

Mesopotamia or Ancient Phoenicia, and seems never to have ceased to be used in the Near and Middle East.

 

I don't know about glass in al-Andalus, but fine china and fine metals were on the dining table since early on - al-Andalus, Muslim Spain, began around 711 and didn't cease to be until 1492.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Knives - sharp side in?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Message-ID: <200511110804.06238.carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="iso-8859-1"

 

Am Freitag, 11. November 2005 04:38 schrieb kingstaste at mindspring.com:

> I was getting ready for a class tonight at Viking, and the Class  

> Manager

> had set the table.  The Culinary School Manager came in and asked  

> him if he

> had taken Dining Room in culinary school yet, and proceeded to  

> correct his

> table setting.  In the process, I heard "in the middle ages they  

> put it

> that way to assure the other person you wouldn't stab them".  

> "What?" says

> I.  He repeated: "the practice of placing the edge of the knife  

> facing in

> towards the plate dates from the Middle Ages, and it was meant to  

> reassure

> your dining partner that you were not going to slice or stab  

> them".  He

> said he was taught this in Culinary History at Johnson and Wales.  

> I said

> that I had never run across that particular one in all of the dining

> etiquette books I had read from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  I  

> thought

> I would run it by here - anyone heard of this one?

 

Heard, yes, but I believe the concern over the health of fellow   diners goes back to the Early Modern period, rather. After all, it is in the seventeenth centuries that table knives lose their stabbing point. From all depictions I recall, medieval table settings even in the wealthier households were not governed by any such rules until very late. Most interestingly, what you most commonly see is a single knife lying on the table that seems to be for communal use. We can assume the diners also brought their own smaller ones, but these are not usually visible (IIRC TannhĂ€user suggests putting it away when not using it).

 

Why would I want to stab anyone at the dinner table in a society   where it is still legal to kill people in open hand-to-hand combat?

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 19:08:42 -0500

From: Daniel Myers <eduard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Knives - sharp side in?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Nov 11, 2005, at 12:37 AM, Pat wrote:

> ISR that during most of the middle ages, one brought one's own

> table settings to table and laid them out however one wished.

 

The Book of Kerving (Wynkin de Worde) has the butler laying out the place settings for the master & guests, with the master having a knife and spoon, and the guests just having spoons.  He makes no mention of which way the knife is to face.

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 08:43:55 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Feeding Desire-- the book

To: SCA COOKS <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

If anyone is interested in silverware or tableware, they may want to take a look at the very expensive very beautiful volume Feeding Desire. It's the catalogue to the Cooper Hewitt show in NYC.

http://www.cooperhewitt.org/EXHIBITIONS/feeding_desire/

The hardcover is 288 pages with 200 color illustrations.

It's $65. Amazon has it priced at just over $40.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 19:32:07 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] serving ware

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Why re-invent the wheel, look what I found

http://www.larsdatter.com/feastgear.htm

An entire site of online feast gear pictures and references all nicely collected in one place.

 

Helewyse

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 02:13:51 -0400

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] properly prepared marrow?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,     SCA-Cooks

        maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>

 

--On Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:53 AM -0500 Stefan li Rous

<stefanlirous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

<<< Anybody know of any evidence of these [marrow spoons] being used during our period? To a certain extent, this makes me think of a later time period, Georgian? Edwardian? But I can imagine them being used in upper crust period feasts. >>>

 

The OED has it at the end of the 17th C:

 

1693 London Gaz. No. 2853/4, 1 Sweat-meat Spoon, 1 *Marrow Spoon, 1 Ladle

and Skillet.

 

<A Register of the Members of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford,> notes an

object identified in a modern inventory as a marrow spoon with an

inscription dating to 1667 and another whose inscription is dated 1664.

 

I'm not sure about the heavy ball on the end though; most descriptions I'm

seeing suggest a scoop at both ends (or one describes a fork with a marrow

spoon as a handle)

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

From: Coblaith Muimnech <Coblaith at sbcglobal.net>

Date: March 1, 2010 5:38:35 PM CST

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] 16th-c. Scottish feast gear (was: Odd question...)

 

Caladin wrote:

<<< Any one know where i can find pics of 16th century (scotch). . .mugs? ditto for plates and bowls? >>>

 

I'm not sure how distinctive pottery used in Scotland was in that period, and how much it resembled pottery used elsewhere on the island.

 

There are photos of some 16th-century Surrey/Hampshire border ware drinking vessels (jugs, mugs, goblets, cups, and costrels), dishes, and bowls at <http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/subcategory.asp?subcat_id=706>;, of 16th-century London-area redware drinking vessels (including jugs and costrels) and bowls at <http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/subcategory.asp?subcat_id=707>;, and of 16th-century tin-glazed ware dishes, plates, bowls, and mugs found in England (some manufactured in London, some in continental Europe) at <http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/category.asp?cat_id=710>;.

 

Coblaith Muimnech

 

 

From: Coblaith Muimnech <Coblaith at sbcglobal.net>

Date: March 1, 2010 5:39:37 PM CST

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] 12th-c. Norman feast gear (was: Odd question...)

 

Caladin wrote:

>>> Any one know where i can find pics of. . .12th century (Norman) mugs? ditto for plates and bowls? >>>

 

The Normans were pretty spread out by the 12th century, with settlements everywhere from the British Isles to the Middle East <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Normans_possessions_12century-fr.png>;. If you're looking to find feast gear authentic to your persona, you might be better off searching by location than by culture.

 

There's a brief overview of general pottery trends in England at <http://www.spoilheap.co.uk/medpoti.htm>;.  It includes some information on how pottery changed in the 11th and 12th centuries that might help you choose pieces that are especially appropriate to your period if your persona is a Norman in England.

 

There are some photos of London-type wares dated to between 1080 and 1350, including dishes, bowls, and drinking jugs, at <http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/subcategory.asp?subcat_id=796>;.

 

There are a few images of Ashampstead-type ware, Brill/Boarstall ware, and Early Medieval Oxford ware jugs and one Early Medieval Oxford ware dish, all from between 1000 and 1250 C.E., at <http://www.potweb.org/PotChron2.html>;.  There's also a little text about Saxo-Norman pottery (dated to 850-1150 C.E.) at <http://www.ashmolean.org/PotWeb/PotChron1.html>;, though none of the pictured pieces appear to be drinking vessels or dishes from which people ate.

 

Coblaith Muimnech

 

<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