Local Heart, Global Soul

February 4, 2019

Zierikzee Butchers Hall: And Some Truly Gruesome Traditions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Entering the first section of the Zierikzee town hall, I discover this is the old Butchers’ hall and amongst the various artefacts on display I find out about a truly gruesome tradition.

Needless to say I would not have been present to watch this tradition.

I abhor all blood sports and can not see the fascination of a fox being chased by a pack of hounds, cockerels being forced to fight with spurs on their legs for maximum damage, or dog fighting.   (I will give a warning, what comes next is not for the feint of heart).

The text reads: “Butchers’ guild silver. (1671-1783)

Every year the butchers guild organised a “Hanentrekken) competition for apprentices and servants. Youngsters from other guilds and farmers sons probably also joined in. Hanentrekken involved riders attempting to pull off the head of a tethered cockerel as they galloped past.

The poor animal would be hung upside down from a rope suspended across the street. The winner was allowed to wear the guild’s silver that day: a ring to which a silver cockerel and dozens of tags were attached. The tags displayed the names of previous winners. The new winner also had his name engraved on a commutative silver tag. In 1860, five years after the closure of the butchers’ hall, the butchers organised a final Hanentrekken competition. The museum purchased a small proportion of the silver in 1910.”

I have to say that this sounds like pure evil, surely a fight would be more fair if apprentice fought apprentice, and willingly maimed themselves for the “honour” of the win? Would arm wrestling not do?

It seems that mankind using animals for sport is a centuries and millennia old tradition. First though are artifacts from the area, the first photo being the original mechanism for the clock in the clock tower.

I was the only visitor watching a short video about the area so took some still photographs from that too. The last photos are of a modern day tapestry, I took close-ups both because I love detail and because my blogging friend lulu from Lulu’s Musings is a fellow fiber fanatic and will love this as much as I do.  https://lulumusing.com/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 10, 2019

The Height Of Fashion Throughout The Ages…

As I continue my costume tour of the exhibition held in the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower in Zierikzee, I discover the weaponry accessories as well as the fabric pieces…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Woman’s Viking costume (800-1000)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This could be mistaken for a rolled up shag pile carpet but this Woolly Mammoth skin custome was apparently the height of fashion (or more likely, plain necessity) for our pre-historic ancestors… (approximately 15 000 BC)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Renaissance Dutch (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Dutch Baroque (1625-1640)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 9, 2019

Clothing The Centuries…

When I visited Zierikzee’s ZierikzeeSint-Lievensmonstertoren back in the Easter of 2017, I was delighted to find they were hosting an exhibition of historic costumes. As a lover of handcrafted things, embroidery and cloth is at the top of my list of favourites, and since I embroider on occasion myself, I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into stitching beautiful fabric pieces. There were people busy studying the costumes and standing reading the information boards at various points of the exhibition, I photographed around them therefore my photographs are sometimes severely out of chronological order. I could have sorted my photos into better order but to be honest I don’t have the energy for that and I figure that as long as you see all of the photos in the series, does it really matter what order you see them in? Any OCD tendencies I have, stayed remarkably silent on this one. Small information boards accompanied the costumes with the dates when they were worn and the style they represent, I used these as much as possible to give information about each of the costumes in this post.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is not a lot of light in some parts of the tower so it was difficult to get good photographs sometimes, this is the costume of a Dutch woman (1570-1600)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Spanish costumes (1550-1600)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Renaissance English costume, (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(Below) Renaissance Saxon (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Gothic costume (1350-1400)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There was even a childrens section where kids were invited to try on costumes and “become” one the Knights Templar for a little while. If I remember  Little Mr. at the age when he was interested in this sort of thing, the possibility of using the swords and shields would have been the biggest attraction in taking part of this.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 12, 2016

Talent Ticks Over Nicely In The Homes Of The Residents Of The Hague…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next thing that happened on “Parels” (pearls) day at the end of the 2016 summer was that Himself arrived and together we went the short distance to the Bergkerk in the Daal en Bergselaan.

There several of our friends were due to play music, and they were the reason I found out about this particular Pearls day anyway.

Unbeknown to me there was also another artist displaying her work at the back of the church.

She is very much into fabric ornamentation and was busy working on a project as she talked with visitors.

I got permission to take photographs of her work, but missed getting her name. There were strong  lights over several of the pieces and some of the details only showed up with the flash, other parts only showed up without it.

I wasn’t particularly happy with the photographs, I ate the flash with a vengeance and would have loved the chance to take photographs of these in stronger, natural light. Although I have done needlework myself and appreciate the amount of work put into these pieces, this style is not really to my taste. On the other hand there was a steady stream of visitors to the ladies table and people appeared to stay quite a long time, asking questions and looking at albums of photographs so there was certainly interest aplenty.

At the front of the church various music recitals were taking place and I was seriously annoyed when my camera battery started to look like it was on it’s last legs. Due to it dying a little while later I missed recording some of the pieces that I wanted.  The “Haags Kleinkoor” sang , “Duo Recercada” , (two very talented ladies) played music from the Renaissance, and this classical guitar duo played amazingly, making it a very restful and relaxed way to spend our time until it was time for Himself and I to go and pick up the kids from their various activities.

I am very much looking forward to next years event of this type, both in my own neighbourhood and others in the city,  making an effort to come out today has showed me what I have been missing and how much talent there is, ticking over just nicely in the homes of the residents of The Hague.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)


June 1, 2016

Barometers and Bed Chambers… Oh La La !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before I leave the 17th century French Influences gallery of the Rijksmuseum, I want to take a look at a large four poster bed that has the most intricate embroidered covers and bed linen.

There is a perspex screen around it, I suppose not only to keep young visitors from jumping on it or older folks from taking a rest, but I suppose more to keep dust off it, after all cleaning a very large heavily embroidered five hundred year old bedspread would make any dry cleaner extremely nervous.

There are ornate golden statues around the bed, candlesticks maybe ? and a canopy around the four poster which is also heavily decorated.

Behind glass on a wall nearby there is a heavily carved piece, a frame (I think in ivory) for what I think is a glass barometer tube that runs to a bulb of mercury at the base.

The detail that has been achieved within such a small piece has to be seen to be believed, there is even a fully three dimensional coat of arms complete with rampant lions at the top of it.

There are also more examples of Delfts work here too, tiled panels, figurines and pots of all sizes  complete the rest of my tour here. Even though the Dutch were at war with France at the time that many of these items were made, it is a relief that the French influences still made it across the border, otherwise our culture would have been poorer for it. I know that the Rijksmuseum is a huge place and there is much to take in, but even a short visit if you are ever in Amsterdam to see a few of these things up close would be a few hours exceedingly well spent.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum

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