commonplacing: uniform spoons and the history of art

Some new books of interest in our library:

From two volume set, The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization (Greenwood Press), under the entry “uniforms”:

“Outside Europe, uniform military dress was more common in this period. Boys inducted into the Janissary Corps, for instance, dressed in all red, including red caps. Fully trained Janissaries wore an exclusive white felt cap called a “Bork” which distinguished them on the battlefield. The Bork had wooden spoon attached, in line with nearly all unit symbolism in a corps where even officer ranks and titles expressed a culinary motif rooted in ritual meal sharing…” 2:886.

The Oxford History of Western Art, ed. Martin Kemp (OUP). From Greece and Rome to Postmodernism, this beautiful collection contains it all. Come, join the throngs of contemporary gnostics looking for hidden symbolism in the world’s great works of art. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of fodder for another book best-selling thriller. Just what was Durer trying to say with his 1525 Dream Vision? If only he would have told us… [Hint: he did.]

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