A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Masks

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 09:04

MM's quiz made me think that masks could be an interesting topic.

It was odd, but just after MM posted his pictures, I read something about the origin of the word "person": I had no idea it was linked to "mask". I was reading about being a slave 2000 years ago when I stumbled upon this:

"We, after all, apply this word ("person") with a splendidly indiscriminate generosity, applying it without hesitation to everyone, regardless of social station, race, or sex; but originally, at least in some of the most crucial contexts, it had a much more limited application. Specifically, in Roman legal usage, one's person was one's status before the law, which was certainly not something invariable from one individual to the next. The original and primary meaning of the Latin word persona was mask, and as a legal term its use may well have harked back to the wax funerary effigies by which persons of social consequence were represented after their deaths, and which families of rank were allowed to display as icons of their ancestral pedigrees...the slave was a man or woman non habens personam: literally "not having a face"... In a sense, the only face proper for a slave, at least as far as the cultural imagination of the ancient world went, was the brutish and grotesquely leering "slave mask" worn by actors on the comic stage..."


I looked up the etymology of "person" to see if it really does link to "mask":


person (n.) early 13c., from Old French persone "human being, anyone, person" (12c., Modern French personne) and directly from Latin persona "human being, person, personage; a part in a drama, assumed character," originally "mask, false face," such as those of wood or clay worn by the actors in later Roman theatre. OED offers the general 19c. explanation of persona as "related to" Latin personare "to sound through" (i.e. the mask as something spoken through and perhaps amplifying the voice), "but the long o makes a difficulty ...." Klein and Barnhart say it is possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu "mask." Klein goes on to say this is ultimately of Greek origin and compares Persephone.


So masks - there are many quotes about them and pictures of them. Masks in drama, in carnivals, in masquerades, in funeral effigies. We humans love masks and have been designing them for over 9000 years, I believe.

My favourite quote about masks is from Oscar Wilde: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

PS I find those masks worn by plague doctors terrifying - patients dying of the Black Death seeing such an apparition looming above them must have thought they'd died and woken up in a Hieronymus Bosch hell.








So, any thoughts about the history and/or significance of masks?


Last edited by Temperance on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 07:48; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 10:09

Discussion of masks in an historical context will almost certainly expose much about the human psyche en route - and the example from etymology you cite displays this perfectly. Associated closely with the transition of "persona" from a disguise to the actual person beneath it is what happened to "imago" on the way to becoming a mere image in today's terminology. In Roman (and probably earlier Etruscan) the imago was a very specific thing - maybe even a simple mask originally, though later also a statue or bust - that faithfully represented a deceased family member, was displayed prominently in the house, and had huge totemic and religious potency in the minds of the residents. It was also portable - and this was important as the imago, representing important ancestors, was required to be present when a family, or one member of the family, undertook a risky or vital journey. The imago therefore inevitably made it into standard military paraphernalia and some of the best of these can be seen in the Vatican Museum of all places. In some of these the eyes and mouth are punched through the metal, so obviously they were used also as masks by the holder, though just how or why we do not know any more.

Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:40

Having had a quick google, I'm a bit surprised to learn that the earliest masks only date from about 7000 BC (Middle East):



I'm sure the use of masks must go back way, way further  ... are there no representations of them in mesolithic cave art?
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 13:23

Not aware myself of any myself, but it is certainly a valid intuitive guess that animal heads (which were often lying around) as well as organic materials such as wood and grass etc would have lent themselves to the use long before people got clever at carving stuff, gluing things together, shaping ceramic materials etc.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2337
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 14:24

Not in mesolithic cave art as far as I'm aware, that's pretty thin on the ground, but there are possible mesolithic masks - the famous Star Carr antlers from Yorkshire. Last time I heard, over 20 had been found.



Of course we can't be certain how, or even if, these were worn, they might have been head pieces or frontlets or even interior decor but the cutouts are irresistibly reminiscent of eye holes but could have been for securing the antlers to the head.

However they were worn it seems likely that they would be a part of a shamanic ritual and that's something that can be seen worldwide; masks, often of animals and connected with sympathetic magic. The alternative explanation for the Star Carr ones is that they could have been used as camouflage during the hunt but the remaining antlers would appear to have been something of a hindrance in bushes.

Shamanistic masks often accrued to themselves power of their own by virtue of being used, the anthropological literature about this topic is vast. In North West America the Native Americans had a spectacular  range and there are many in collections that were acquired quite legitimately because of the belief I mentioned - masks that were new or made specially could be given or sold because they had not yet become sacred and potent objects.

This is a grizzly bear:



And auld twisted-face:



I'm sure P can tell us much about this subject from her experience in the East.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1756
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 15:00

No, ferv I was not east enough. My knowledge is only through art - Picasso, for instance was balled over by the proportions(!)  and essential simplicity of West African masks (SenegaL? I have to look it up.) American former Peace Corps worker friends - by then top bankers - had a huge collection, some fearsome with tiny sacks of who knows what attached about them. I had them at home to use for an art project for a while - except one that I could not bear to have anywhere near me. I suggested they got rid of it. I did a fair bit of reading about them at the time. 

People seem to enjoy wearing them as a chance to pull a curtain over themselves....... I have be to masked balls where everyone was very well known to each other but 'On with the motley' and some unlikely people behaved  quite outrageously..... cor, those were the days! i don't bother with the mask now.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 15:09

I know that the wall painting in the Trois Frères Cave, France,



... that, Henri Breuil (1920s) interpreted as the representation of a human shaman with reindeer mask,



..... has now been largely discredited, but,

........ do no other similar depictions of masks/costumes exist?

Although I suppose it is very hard to distinguish between an image of a man wearing an animal mask ... and another image originally intended to portray an animal (a god even) that has adopted a human disguise. 

And with that thought I guess we're back with the whole essence about "persona" and 'image', no?


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 15:22; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1756
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 15:21

I imagine the raised arms stag posture of the Highland fling could be a remnant of ancient cult dancing. And now crowds at both cricket and football matches are  often in modern mask cult disguise. Not reached Wimbledon yet but its only a matter of time.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Thu 04 Feb 2016, 16:05

Re Roman masks - Am I correct that Suetonius, in citing the words of the actor representing Vespasian at his funeral, asking how much it was all costing, and suggesting he'd prefer the cash and they could chuck him in the Tiber, states that he was wearing a mask to make him look like Vespasian?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 07:44

@Priscilla wrote:
People seem to enjoy wearing them as a chance to pull a curtain over themselves....... I have be to masked balls where everyone was very well known to each other but 'On with the motley' and some unlikely people behaved  quite outrageously..... cor, those were the days! i don't bother with the mask now.


The idea of dancing at a masked ball - preferably in Venice - is the epitome of romance - something I dreamed of when I was young, but alas never managed.

Such divertissements for the rich and privileged all started  in Venice, I believe? Although it's a lovely idea to imagine oneself in Venice, dancing the night away - young, masked and mysterious - I wonder in reality what corruption, intrigue and imperfections were hidden behind those glittering and exquisite "false faces"? The goings-on amongst the aristocratic élite, who could hide their true selves with such elegance and style, do not bear thinking about. We tend to associate such things with Italy and France, but of course the English enjoyed their "guisings" too. Henry VIII, in his youth, loved dressing up for the entertainments at his palaces: everyone had to pretend that they were completely fooled by his clever disguise. This courtly pretence, repeated so often, must have got very tedious. No mask could ever hide that man's true nature.

The current trend of Masks today are for wearing at masked balls and parties and also as display items, the beauty of it is that they can be both! Venetian masquerade carnival masks have been around since the 11th Century and played a large part in Venice society. In 1436  the mask makers of Venice or Mascereri were officially recognised with their own guild and were master craftsmen.


PS  Re my OP I thought the plague doctor masks originated in Venice too, but apparently not; these fearsome things were first used in France:


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore a beak-like mask which was filled with aromatic items. The masks were designed to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. The design of these costumes has been attributed to Charles de Lorme, the chief physician to Louis XIII.


Last edited by Temperance on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 19:10; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 12:13

Here is the account given by Rev. Patrick Brontë of how he used a mask (which he just "happened" to have in the Parsonage) to get his clever little children to speak "freely". The extract is from Francis Leyland's memoirs of the family. Francis Leyland and his brother, Joseph, were friends of the Brontës - both were intimates of the unfortunate Branwell.


'When my children were very young, when - as far as I can remember - the oldest was about ten years of age, and the youngest about four, when - thinking that they knew more than I had yet discovered - in order to make them speak with less timidity, I deemed that, if they were put under a sort of cover, I might gain my end; and, happening to have a mask in the house, I told them all to stand and speak boldly from under cover of the mask. I began with the youngest (Anne, afterwards Acton Bell), and asked what a child like her most wanted; she answered, "Age and experience." I asked the next (Emily, afterwards Ellis Bell) what I had best do with her brother Branwell, who was sometimes a naughty boy; she answered, "Reason with him, and, when he won't listen to reason, whip him." I asked Branwell what was the best way of knowing the difference between the intellects of man and woman; he answered, "By considering the difference between them as to their bodies." '

In answer to a question as to which were the two best books, Charlotte said that 'the Bible,' and after it the 'Book of Nature,' were the best. Mr. Brontë then asked the next daughter, "What is the best mode of education for a woman?" She answered, "That which would make her rule her house well." He then asked the eldest, Maria, "What is the best mode of spending time?" She answered, "By laying it out in preparation for a happy eternity." He says he may not have given the exact words, but they were nearly so, and they had made a lasting impression on his memory.




Last edited by Temperance on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 19:17; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1756
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 18:11

Ornate masks on fancy sticks are the most fun because one can have a good stare without seeming to.  I chucked out several before coming to live in Essex....... staring and rude remark goes with the territory. Masks here are  black and worn in rural post offices at night.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 18:40

@Priscilla wrote:
Ornate masks on fancy sticks are the most fun because one can have a good stare without seeming to.  I chucked out several before coming to live in Essex....... staring and rude remark goes with the territory. Masks here are  black and worn in rural post offices at night.
Covert (frequently lecherous) staring. Surely that is the whole rationale for half-silvered sunglasses?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 19:09

Death masks - fashioned from plaster or wax I think -  are fascinating. They could be the subject of an interesting if rather morbid quiz. Anyone recognise this face?





Or this rather beautiful lady?




Last edited by Temperance on Sat 06 Feb 2016, 10:34; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 05 Feb 2016, 20:10

Weren't death masks how Mme Tussaud got started?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Sat 06 Feb 2016, 10:38

This is from Wiki: gosh, it's gruesome:



Tussaud created her first wax sculpture, of Voltaire, in 1777. Other famous people she modelled at that time include Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. During the French Revolution she modelled many prominent victims. In her memoirs she claims that she would search through corpses to find the severed heads of executed citizens, from which she would make death masks. Her death masks were held up as revolutionary flags and paraded through the streets of Paris. Following the doctor's death in 1794, she inherited his vast collection of wax models and spent the next 33 years travelling around Europe. She married to Francois Tussaud in 1795 lent a new name to the show: Madame Tussaud's. In 1802 she went to London, having accepted an invitation from Paul Philidor, a magic lantern and phantasmagoria pioneer, to exhibit her work alongside his show at the Lyceum Theatre, London. She did not fare particularly well financially, with Philidor taking half of her profits. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, she was unable to return to France, so she traveled throughout Great Britain and Ireland exhibiting her collection. From 1831 she took a series of short leases on the upper floor of "Baker Street Bazaar" (on the west side of Baker Street, Dorset Street and King Street), which later featured in the Druce-Portland case sequence of trials of 1898–1907. This became Tussaud's first permanent home in 1836. One of the main attractions of her museum was the Chamber of Horrors.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Sat 06 Feb 2016, 11:27

The second of your death masks, Temp, I think would be that of Mary Queen of Scots no? ... possibly that exhibited at her house at Jedburgh. We went there on holiday once when I was about seven and I was fascinated, in a childish morbid way, by the whole thing about death masks. Oh the benefits of a thoroughly liberal, middle-class upbringing.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4777
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Sun 07 Feb 2016, 12:06

Yes, it's Mary - beautiful in a way not captured by her portraits. They said she grew fat after the years in prison, but no evidence of it in her death mask - she doesn't look at all jowly.

The dead bloke is Thomas Paine.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Sun 07 Feb 2016, 12:52

I've just come back from a bit of local masquerade … today was my villages's 'Fête de l'Ours' (Bear festival).

The Bear festival is only held in three local communes (three villages/small towns ... plus their surrounding hamlets), so that's Arles-sur-Tech, St Laurent-de-Cerdans, and Prats-de-Mollo. The fête was traditionally held on Candlemas (2 February) but they are now held on three successive weekends, starting with my local one at Arles-sur-Tech, on the first Sunday of February (today).

Our version, at Arles sur Tech, is rather like a pantomime, with its stock parts and traditional spoken verses. The fun all starts when la belle Roseta 'a young maid', (usually played by a burly prop-forward in a flaxen wig), and her paramour, Pigassa 'a young trapper', go into the woods by the river to flush out the bear from his winter hibernation. Eventually the bear comes charging out of hiding and promptly kidnaps Roseta.

Here's the beautiful, blushing Roseta:



And here's the bear:



..... There then follows a long chase through the town (and through people's houses!)with the villagers and hunters in pursuit. The bear gets caught and Rosetta released … only for the bear to escape again when everyone joins in a celebratory dance. This happens several times. The bear, disguised in his mask, traditionally has considerable licence to assault people, usually young women who he grabs and carries off to have his wicked way with them in his den (it’s at heart a pagan fertility/spring festival after-all), to misbehave, and generally cause havoc ... as do his supporters by throwing confetti and spraying shaving cream. But eventually the bear is trapped in the main square and subdued. He is then ritually shaved with an axe, and so he symbolically becomes a real man (again?), and everyone joins in the traditional dance and has a glass or three of wine.

Here's a little video that was made at our village "Fête de l'Ours" a few years ago ...... the language is mostly Catalan, but I’m sure you’ll get the drift:




PS :  There's also this one which explains some of the other roles and the symbolism (and it has French subtitles).




As I said the Fête de l’Ours in my village is more like a pantomime … but both those at St Laurant-de-Cerdans, and especially that at Prats-de-Mollo, are a bit more boisterous and earthily primitive. Whereas our bear has a papier-maché head with a silly grin, the bear at St Laurant has a real bear’s head, and perched on top of the guy’s head that makes the 'bear' a formidable 2m tall beast. Meanwhile the 'bears' at Prats de Mollo are played by black-faced half bear-half man, "wild-men-of-the-woods" type characters.

St-Laurant and Prats-de-Mollo are the last two towns at the head of the valley, guarding the passes over the mountains into Spain. Since at least the early 17th century (when it became French), this was often a fairly lawless frontier region, plagued by bandits and sheep rustlers .... although I suspect the 'woodwose-type' characters probably hark back much further to medieval villagers’ fears of outlaws hiding, bear-like, in the deep forests. And remember there were real bears here in the mountains until as recently as the 1960’s.

While in Arles people throw confetti, in the other two, they throw flour (the villagers) and soot (the bears supporters) or rub soot into peoples faces ..... and then the fire brigade usually oblige by turning their hoses onto the crowd. So it's probably wise not go in your Sunday best.

Here's a TV documentary about the whole cultural history of the Fête de l’Ours (it’s in French but the language isn’t too hard). The Fête de l’Ours is unique to just our three communes … and there’s currently an application to get it recognised by UNESCO.



Last edited by Meles meles on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:04; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura


Posts : 1306
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Sun 07 Feb 2016, 18:09

Thanks for that Meles meles.

Your friend Paul.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 08 Feb 2016, 07:55

Temp wrote:
Yes, it's Mary - beautiful in a way not captured by her portraits. They said she grew fat after the years in prison, but no evidence of it in her death mask - she doesn't look at all jowly.

Not surprising - the historical record shows that she had lost about ten pounds in weight quite suddenly the day before the mask was made, mostly around the head.

(and today is the anniversary of Mary's weight loss programme)
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Fri 25 Mar 2016, 16:28

Not exactly masks but certainly masked…

Today being Good Friday (Vendredi Saint) here it’s the day for the Procession de la Sanch. That at Perpignan is conducted during the day, but in our town it's in the evening dark, so as the torch-lit procession of hooded penitents wends its way through the narrow streets and back to the ancient abbey, it's a lot more atmospheric:

   

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts : 2647
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:03

The hoods in the first two pictures look remarkably similar to these bods:


Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts : 2647
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:14

Basic mask to disguise facial features while in pursuit of a crime;

Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:26

Regarding the pointy hoods ... well the aim is the same: anonymity. With the Good Friday penitents it's to reduce everyone, whether high or low, well-known or not, to the same anonymous status, and with the Ku Klux Klan it was to protect its members from prosecution or revenge. The KKK also of course aimed to emphasise their christian roots, so their choice of a well-established religious form of dress was almost certainly deliberate, although the penitents' hoods are particular to Catholicism, and more especially to the lay confraternities of Spain, whereas the KKK of course were all about their pure 'Anglo-Saxon' origins.

Taken from 'The Guardian' website, these bods are from Zamora in Castile y Léon,



.... and these in Siétamo in Aragon,



... I do like the rather fetching mauve robes.


Last edited by Meles meles on Mon 28 Mar 2016, 15:20; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 13:24

@Triceratops wrote:
Basic mask to disguise facial features while in pursuit of a crime;


The mask was only a part of it, Trike. In an effort to achieve anonymity some highwaymen went further. This from an excellent series of essays about crime in Georgian Britain by Rictor Norton (available online here).

Highwaymen wore masks and took more care to disguise themselves than other types of robbers. The highwayman Thomas Williams in 1780 ‘pulled out a piece of black tin and put it over his nose, which altered his voice entirely, and made him squeak like Punch in a puppet-show’. John Weldon, another highwayman also in 1780, ‘attempted to speak in a feigned voice; but, speaking several times, he could not help speaking in his natural voice’. His companion William Edwards also tried ‘to smother his voice’ when robbing a carriage.

Some went even further than just disguising their voices and assumed whole personas, carefully constructed, nurtured and rehearsed even when not "on the job". In the case of "Gentleman" James Maclean, actually the son of an Ulster Presbyterian minister, it is difficult to know whether his highwayman activity was a cause or an effect of his assumed lifestyle which, in its flamboyancy, makes it even more difficult to work out how on earth he had hoped not to draw attention to himself. In 1749 he teamed up with a London apothecary and surgeon called William Plunkett who, from this extract, seemed to have been in it mainly for the linen.

Plunkett retained modest lodgings at a shoemaker’s shop in the Strand and later at quarters in Jermyn Street, while Maclean took a fine apartment at St James’s, next to White’s, the fashionable gentleman’s club, and another residence in Chelsea. He appeared in the streets in a very grand manner – ‘his morning dress being a crimson damask Banjan, a silk shag waist-coat, trim’d with lace, black velvet breeches, white silk stockings, and yellow Morocco slippers’ – with Plunkett in attendance pretending to be his footman. Through this subterfuge he gained access to persons of fortune and acquired knowledge of the travel plans of their friends. While not airing their horses at Hyde Park, he and Plunkett robbed coaches on Turnham Green or Hounslow Heath, especially those carrying the aristocracy – for example Lord Eglinton, Sir Thomas Robinson, a Scottish Earl and Horace Walpole. They wore Venetian masks on these outings – rather than the usual handkerchief – and always treated the passengers with the greatest civility, except for a Roman Catholic priest, who protested that in the bag they were taking was all his linen. Plunket ‘immediately reply’d, he was very glad to hear it, for they were in great want of linen; that it was necessity forced them upon those hazardous enterprizes; that they did not rob thro’ wantonness, as the great ones did, who daily rob’d ’em of millions, for the support of luxury and corruption, but that they were forced to it for their immediate subsistance.’

Maclean proved to be a coward ultimately. During his trial he tried to pin everything on Plunkett, and though the official record does not state as much, the lack of any attempt to prosecute Plunkett would suggest that the apothecary had already "done a deal" anyway beforehand to indict Maclean in return for an amnesty. Plunkett later turned up in Pennsylvania and lived to old age, becoming a respected War of Independence colonel and magistrate along the way, making no secret of his one-time alliance with Gentleman Jim during all this time.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura


Posts : 2647
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 14:13

Can you imagine being robbed by somebody speaking like Mr Punch? It's a wonder the victims didn't burst out laughing.

.........................................................................................................

Never heard of this before. The Carnival of Venice which ends at Lent. Supposedly dates back to the 12th Century.

Carnival of Venice



Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 14:51

@Triceratops wrote:
Can you imagine being robbed by somebody speaking like Mr Punch? It's a wonder the victims didn't burst out laughing.


Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts : 2647
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 15:29

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Good one !!!!


Picture of demonstrators wearing the Guy Fawkes masks popularised by the film V for Vendetta:
though one or two haven't quite got the hang of it.

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 17:42

The Guy Fawkes mask itself has a long (and at times deadly) history, as this article from The Lancet in November 1846 can testify to.






The poor child.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Tue 29 Mar 2016, 12:31

Anyone who has applied a "face mask" in the interest of beautification might be interested in this one - a skin bleacher patented by one Madam Rowley in the 1890s which was, quite literally, a mask. The idea was to put it on overnight three times a week, the chemically treated interior (bleach) then doing its magic on your countenance as you slept your beauty sleep, removing spots, warts, blemishes, freckles, wrinkles, carbuncles, noses, lips, the entire epidermis ... I'm actually surmising those last few.

Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5302
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Masks   Tue 29 Mar 2016, 12:48

Or, if you were a 16th century damsel who - having given up on removing your pox blemishes, scold's bridle scars etc - decided just to go with the mask full-time, then you had the option of this little dissimulatory gadget.

It was called a "visard" or "vizard". Usually made from wood with a black velvet laminate, and held in place by a bead or button behind the mouth which you then clenched between your teeth, it took Europe by storm amongst the Kardashianassians of its time. Being held in place in this manner also rendered the wearer effectively mute, which they believed lent them even more "allure".



One can immediately see why this particular fashion would appeal to many men too, which is probably why the fad extended well beyond the normal lifespan of such "dernier cri" (which often was about the lifespan of the dernier crier, having been considerably shortened through its adoption). By the 18th century it was fashionably known as a "moretta muta", and was especially popular amongst those who liked to gaze at rhinoceroses - as Pietro Longhi's painting demonstrates (the dumb animal is in the painting's background).



Our old friend Samuel Pepys was au-fait with the practice too. In his 1663 diary he was so impressed with Lady Mary Cromwell's use of it at the Royall Theatre that he immediately went out and bought one for his missus. He never recorded her reaction to the gift at the time, though he did mention her wearing it at least once in 1667, when its use actually led to her nearly being picked up by the lecherous Sam Hartlib (Junior). That's the last mention of Elisabeth's vizard from our Sammy.

However in 1668 he then ordered one for himself too! It was made up for him by a man called Mr Lead, and Sam's - it must be said - had a more practical application than merely to lend him some allure (though it must definitely have lent him something quite close to it). It had a bottle attached to it with tubes running into both eye sockets. Filled with a saline solution its purpose (and it was used frequently) was as a relief from eye-strain, an occupational hazard for men like Pepys in a pre-electric age. He could then wear it throughout the day as he went about his business.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
 

Masks

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of expression ... :: The Arts-