Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Pavilion of the Lord d'Espiry at the Fountain of Tears, 1450

...his pavilion, which was white with a vermillion upper border, showing the colors of the robes described earlier (worn by d'Espiry and his servants in their procession to the field) and within, hanging behind his back on the ceintre* he had a rich cloth of gold....**

...his pavilion, which was in the manner of a a little tent of white satin, decorated and adorned as you will hear later...the knight's pavilion was opened and within there was a rich black cloth of gold hung behind him and extending over a large chair, and it was a floorcloth (marchepié) for the whole pavilion and for more than two ells outside.... ***

D'Espiry seems to have had a talent for drama. When his pavilion was opened he was seen fully armored in his chair with his legs crossed "resembling a Caesar or one of the Worthies in his triumph" with his bannerolle in his hand, in the midst of saying his prayers, which he completed before he began his combat. He was accompanied by four young squires about 12 or 13 years old: two were nephews of a friend and two were his sons. He requested and received permission for the young squires to watch his fight from inside the lists.

*Cintre could mean either the inner suface of a vault or arch, or the wooden scaffolding on which a masonry arch or vault was built. For a pavilion, this may have meant an internal wooden hoop.

**Chastellain, Georges, and Jean Le Fèvre. 1825. Chronique de J. de Lalain. Paris: Verdière. p.256

***La Marche, Olivier de, Henri Beaune, and Jules d'Arbaumont. 1883. Mémoires d'Olivier de La Marche: maître d'hôtel et capitaine des gardes de Charles le Téméraire. Paris: Librairie Renouard, H. Loones, successeur. pp. 182-183

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