Getting Fleeced

There's a sad little weakness in what I wear: my knight's chain. SCA knights wear an unadorned, open link chain as part of their regalia. The other parts are spurs and a white belt. Well, my chain, like those of many of my brothers is strong in symbolism, and weak in panache. I'd like to rectify that in a Burgundian style, which has led to Jean-Marie's project to make a collar of the Golden Fleece.
The order was created by Duke Philip the Good in 1430, emulating the English Order of the Garter and the French Order of the Star. It was part of a larger plan to establish Burgundy as an international player by displaying its prestige, wealth and prowess. They adopted a fire striker shaped like B for Burgundy with lit embers as the emblem of the house, and the order, so you see it repeated in the collars collected below. The "fleece" was initially a reference to the golden fleece which the ancient hero Jason and his band of merry men quested after. (The surviving tapestries and book collections of the Valois dukes indicate they were very interested in ancient history and mythology. The renaissance was in full swing in their era and they were a focal point of it.)

The order's founder sporting what's probably my favorite rendition of the collar:


Charles (the guy who lost an unbelievable fortune by being a dumbass) the Bold (4th Valois duke of Burgundy):


Charles, forsaking his great lineage of awesome hats. What a sad, sad creature he was.


A random pic with a Fleece in it, probably sported by Philip the Good, since he's wearing all black and his signature hat. See Charles? That's what your family's pimp-tastic hats look like.:

Honestly, considering the giant hats he was always wearing he was kind of a pencil-neck. Still, he married well, expanded his family's territory and led a great period of economic prosperity for his lands.

A meeting of the Order of the Golden Fleece:


Fleeces even look good on behbehs:


A pretty good modern rendition from here:

Comments

Is that a Billiy and Charlie fleece?
Billy and Charlie do great stuff, and they move in the same circles as some Burgundian re-enactors, but I've not seen them offer a Fleece. The one I pictured is made by a British outfit.
I was just guessing. I could swear I saw someone post a fleece kind of like that on the AA recently.
Randy Shipp said…
What's the story with probably-Philip's shoes in the fourth picture? Are those pattens?
Most likely they are pattens. They look quite similar to the ones in the Arnofini Marriage which is roughly contemporary.
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