Thursday, March 27, 2008
Chest in Camps 1338-1425
From Agnolo Gaddi’s Dream of the Emperor Heraclius at Santa Croce (1385-87)
Illustrations in the Romance of Alexander (Bodley 264), c. 1338-44; 83v, 124r, 184r, and 198v
Preparations for a tournament; scene with horses and pavilions. Roman du Roy Meliadus de Leonnoys BL Add. 12228, f.150.
Hannibal and the spies, Ab urbe condita (BNF Fr. 261, fol. 25), first quarter of the 15th century
Many of these chests are without feet, which would be liable to damage as you dragged them in and out of wagons or carts. However, having the bottom of the chest lie on damp ground is also undesirable, and some of these have low feet, although they aren’t easy to see in the tiny illuminations: look carefully at Romance of Alexander 198v and the chest on the left in 124v, and the chest furthest inside the tent in Meliadus. Chests with high feet would also consume valuable volume in the carts used by an army on the march.