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The Lady of Tournament delivering the Price.

Tournament, Knights, honour, fin amors, Middle ages, Burgundy costume. Traite des Tournois,

The Lady of the Tournament

The Lady of Tournament delivering the Price.

D Medieval initial letter, Middle ages book illustration

Initial letter

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DURING the progress of the Tournament, the scaffolds surrounding the field were crowded with ladies, who encouraged the combatants by their smiles. They not unfrequently gave to some favoured knight a glove or a handkerchief, which he was to defend against the field. To a lady also was reserved the office of delivering the prize to the victor in the Tournament each day. Our engraving representing this ceremony, forms the last of the series of drawings by King Rene. In the Traite des Tournois, we have especial directions relating to this part of the day’s amusement. When the “jugesdiseurs,” or umpires, had given their judgment, the king of arms announced it to the Knight who had been decided the victor in the day’s contest, and, attended by the heralds and poursuivants, conducted him to the Lady of the Tournament.

The lady was attended by two damsels of her own choice, and she carried the prize carefully covered. When the victor in the tournament was brought into her presence, she uncovered it and delivered it to him, and he received it graciously and kissed the giver; and this was not all, for he was allowed “to kiss her two damsels likewise, if it were his pleasure” (et semblablement les deux demoiselles se s’est son plaisir). Then the king of arms, heralds, and poursuivants cried aloud in the hall that the prize of the day had been adjudged and delivered. After this, the knight led the Lady to the dance as his partner and the judges, knights of honour, king of arms, and poursuivents, conducted the two damsels with all ceremony back to their places. The rest of the day was spent in joyous festivities.

The cut at the bottom of the preceding page is taken from a contemporary picture of Marie Duchess of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, and married in 1477 to Maximilian of Austria. At this time she was only in her twentieth year, an orphan, and engaged in a cruel war with the king of France, who had forcibly deprived her of a portion of her heritage. The life of this innocent princess was a constant series of sorrows and misfortunes.

In her youth she was persecuted by strangers, and rudely treated by her own subjects, who took advantage of her weakness. A short life filled with troubles was ended by a violent death. At the beginning of February, 1482, when she was still only twenty-five years of age, she went a hawking. While engaged in this recreation, her horse made an effort to leap over a large trunk of a tree, which lay on the ground, in doing which the girths broke, and, the saddle turning round, the duchess was thrown with considerable force against the trunk. She was carried home severely wounded, but no fears were entertained for her life. It is said, however, that from feelings of modesty she would not allow the physicians to take proper care of her wounds, which became worse and worse, till, after languishing three weeks, she died.

Middle ages costumes. Mary of Burgundy, Duchess of Burgundy

Mary Duchess of Burgundy 1457-1482

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Our initial letter is one of the series of the four Evangelists, from an early printed book, of which the other letters are also given in the present work .

Source: Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages from the seventh to the seventeenth centuries by Henry Shaw F.S.A. Published: London William Pickering 1843.

Louis XIII. Ancien Régime. Renaissance, Baroque, Tudor fashion era, Chivalry.

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  1. Reigns of John and of Charles V. 1350 to 1380. (Medieval, Byzantine, Gothic)
  2. Reigns’ of Charles VI. and Charles VII. 1380 to 1461. (Medieval, Gothic, Burgundy)
  3. Reigns of Louis XI, Charles VIII, and Louis XII. 1461 to 1515 (Medieval, Burgundy, Renaissance)
  4. Reign of Francis I. 1515 to 1545. (Renaissance, Tudor)
  5. Reign of Henry II. 1547 to 1558. (Tudor, Renaissance)
  6. Reign of Francis II. 1559 to 1560. (Tudor, Renaissance)
  7. Reign of Charles IX. 1560 to 1574. (Tudor, Renaissance, Spanish court dress)
  8. Reign of Henri III. 1574 to 1589. (Renaissance, early Baroque, Spanish court dress, Tudor)
  9. Reigns of Henri IV. and Louis XIII. 1589 to 1643. (Renaissance, Baroque)
  10. Reign of Louis XIV. 1643 to 1715. (Baroque)
  11. Reign of Louis XV. 1715 to 1774. (Rococo)
  12. Reign of Louis XVI. 1774 to 1780. (Late Rococo)
  13. Reign of Louis XVI. 1780 to 1789. Le Pouf. Fashion in the Ancien Régime.
  14. The Reticulated Headdress. 15th century. Medieval Burgundy era.
  15. The Hennin. Headdress 15th century. Medieval Burgundy era.
  16. Costumes de Noblesse du 14ème siècle. Histoire de la mode médiévale.
  17. Noble anglaise. Mode féminine du Moyen Age. 13ème siècle. 13ème siècle.
  18. Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress of the French King Henry IV. 16th century, Renaissance.
  19. Henri de Lorraine, duc de Guise. France 16th century. Huguenot wars.
  20. Madame de Pompadour. Her political power and general influence to Louis XV. Rococo era.
  21. 15th century medieval room interior. The history of Tobit. Historia Scholastica.
  22. The Corset and the Crinoline. Fashion history. From ancient until 19th c.
  23. Pictures and Royal Portraits Illustrative of English and Scottish History.
  24. Les Modes de la Renaissance de l’an 1461 à l’an 1574.
  25. Characters of The Commedia dell Arte. Italian Renaissance Theater.
  26. The Rise of Monachism. Monastic costumes history.
  27. On the history of costumes. Fashion gallery from ancient until the 19th century.
  28. King James I of England, son of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
  29. The Gunpowder Plot. England history.
  30. Mary Queen of Scots England history.
  31. The character of Henry VIII. Tudor King of England.
  32. The reign of Elizabeth. The days of Queen Bess.
  33. Tudor Queen. The offer of the crown to Lady Jane Grey.
  34. Queen Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII.
  35. Sir Francis Drake. England history.
  36. The english boy king Edward VI. England history.
  37. Relics associated with Queen Elisabeth. England history.