Thursday, September 8, 2011

A small digression...

Even though this isn't craft related, it is an extant medieval object relating to my other great love: dogs!  (Text and picture from this article on the 2010-2011 Scotland Treasure Trove Report.)

Swivel ring and mount for a medieval hunting leash

This is an unusual complete example of a swivel fitting for a dog leash, comprising a freely rotating mount with attachments for two separate leashes. Such leashes were used to control dogs during hunting where the swilling element would prevent the leashes being fouled or caught. The fitting is rather small and is presumably for a pair of scent hounds or dogs for small game such as hare. Hunting held a particular place in medieval culture, putting an emphasis on particular behaviour and virtues. It was in short, a social setting where an individual could show themselves to advantage and this objects reflects this social setting; finely decorated, it is an object to be admired and to reflect the status of the owner as much as it is a utilitarian object.

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