Sunday, 12 February 2012

More WIP

Bit of a mixed bag this week; Firstly here's the design that I have opted for the banner of the Virgin Mary which is an amalgamation of a number of suggestions, from responses here, TMP and the Tudor History Q&A blog, of which the following abridged suggestion sealed my route forward;

' The Virgin's medieval iconography is extensive. Lydgate's poem points to the Virgin being represented as "Queen of Heaven," an extremely popular cult of the medievals, in which the simple peasant of Nazareth was closely assimilated with chivalric culture and transformed into a regal focal point of worship for royalty.

In the English mythology, the Virgin as Queen of Heaven is served by St. George, the patron of England, and hence by the English king. Miri Rubin's Mother of God states "[Henry V] claimed her as a model of majesty and priesthood, of sacred kingship embodied in his own person ... Mary was a dynastic patron and she merged with the well-being and safety of England."

Moreover, in late medieval theological thought, the Queen of Heaven is also a warrior, leading armies of angels in defence of just causes (to the English, invading France is always a just cause). The choice of the "banner of our Lady" might have attracted influential support from Catherine of Aragon; in Spain, Mary as "Queen of Heaven" was powerfully identified with her mother and the crusade against the infidel - "For Mary was the particular patroness of the reconquest of Spain" (Theresa Earenfight,Queenship and Political Power in Medieval and Early Modern Spain).

So what did the banner look like? The iconography of the Queen of Heaven inevitably includes a crown. Some sources mention a scepter. I have seen images of the Virgin in this aspect standing on the crescent moon, but I'm not sure that this isn't from later centuries. I couldn't find more specific information in my search. Regarding the colors - blue is traditionally regarded as the Virgin's color, but her elevation to regal status might have meant that purple or red were used. There's a letter extant from Richard III to the Wardrobe ordering banners of St. Edward, the Trinity, St. George, St. Cuthbert and "one banner of sarsenet of Our Lady"; these are included in an order with a number of highly detailed clothing requests, and the lack of description for the banner orders may indicate a standardised appearance.'

I did contemplate doing a Flemish master miniature didn't get much beyond that! Anyway, I hope you like my choice, it's more symbolic / heraldic and works rather well I think.

Secondly, I finished a project which has been on the back burner for a while, this command stand represents Ludvig V, Elector Prince of Palatine, a key player during the German Peasants War; A while ago I had designs upon doing a German Minor States Army but got distracted by the Perry's when they released their first plastics. This stand has lain semi-finished ever since so I took advantage of a day off and finished it, and rather pleased I am with it too. It does not quite fit in to my current army lists (for Maximilian or Tudor) so it's now on Ebay, as is the Duke of Norfolk mentioned in the last post.

Last but not least I took the time to re-base some imperial artillery, these will form part of my Tudor army either as hired gunners or as part of Maximilian's contingent. One key hint I must say is base the gunners first then add the gun, what a fiddly job that was ! I have a few more artillery pieces to do from scratch and i'll certainly follow that notion.

Seeing these figures again has led me on a slight Landsknecht tangent, I have quite a few which need to be painted up to complete Maximilian's contribution to the Army Royal so I shall have them quietly building in the background. They're fun to do as a bit of a break from the Tudors, more on these in future.

That's all from me for now.

All the best



  1. The Virgin Mary banner looks really great, and based on some very authoritative info it seems. A great one-off item. Love the artillery too.
    Hope you get a good price that the Ludwig figures deserve on ebay.
    Cheers, Simon.

  2. Great looking pieces again, all very nice. I like the Elector Palatine especially, very nice heraldry. Great detail.