Fisherman's House, Moesgaard, in December

Fisherman's House, Moesgaard, in December
Fisherman's House, Moesgaard, in December

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stays/Snøreliv



It was necessary in the 1700s to have wasp waist of a very alarmed small diameter, but the ladies endured patiently the torments of the corset like their kindred spirits had done for centuries. A physician published a book in 1767 where he warned against the tight stays with drastic expressions which make you wonder that mankind has survived this fatal fashion.

He meets women everywhere, he's especially alarmed by young beauties walking along the streets snorting and panting, they can only take a few steps, before they have to take a pause in order to catch their breath. He wonders how the air is able to reach the lungs at all, and how the blood is able to run. The women are fainting all the time and have to sniff some strong perfume to wake up. How can women endure it he says. They have headache, tooth and ear-ache, colics and stiches in their side, the stomach is disturbed, the intestines press upon nerves, and they have indigestion and cramps and break winds; they suffer from vomitting and haemorrhage, and he's also alarmed when he thinks about the pregnant women blaims them for abortions and warn them that they might give birth to a stillborn baby and die themselves. When a woman read that book she would probably be terrified, but she had to put the book away and follow the fashion like we do today, hadn't she?


The stays are an old form of corset which were used from about 1500 to after 1860. A tight-lacing corset is a common form used today.
The leather corset in ab. 1550 was the first where they made a cheap version of the iron corsets, corsets were made from linen, leather, wood and iron sticks which were gathered in a lace, since buttons were expensive at that time. It was a great progress, when they got fishbones (whalebone) as ribs instead of iron and wood ribs. Later the whalebones were replaced by spring steel.
With Rococo and Neo Classicism (ca. 1730 - 1800) came a style, which was modelled after the breast of the goddess Venus, who was the woman ideal in the Greek Antique and in Neo Classicism after the French revolution. This made the stays out of fashion for a short period, where women wore thin Greek flowing robes, even in the Nordic winter cold.

The later Victorian corset pressed all ribs of the body up. If it was tightened in front it pressed all the ribs down. The taille was down on the hips, so the upper part of the body was a narrow cone placed upon a ball.


The "cone-ball-stays" (from ab. 1840 - 1870)
, the Neo Rococo demanded crinoline in order to keep out the skirts, and the still larger crinolines demanded a larger , stiffer and tighter belt.
So the stays emerged again and developed gradually a new low stay, which remined about two half balls with a broad stalk in between. From this came a new stay formed as a broad cone placed upon a ball. This type pressed the ribs up and opened the lungs, and it meant that women could dance longer than before. Thus it was possible to create the modern ballet. The large tyl full skirts used in ballet is an inheritance from the Neo Rococo. A form of cone-ball stay is still made in 2004, the lacing is so that the intestine and the liver are just lifted without being pressed. Finito!

Source: Archaeological Magazine Skalk, nr. 1., 1968; Wikipedia: Snøreliv, Dansk.
Details from illustrations by Des Asmussen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Lovely Collection of Butterflies



An amazing flock of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell on a Stonecrop (Kinesisk Sankt Hansurt) photo 23. august 2007 the island Mors, Limfjorden, North Jutland: grethe bachmann
(click to enlarge)


Cynthia cardui/Painted Lady/Tidselsommerfugl


Aglais urticae/Small Tortoiseshell/Nældens takvinge

Inachis io/Peacock/Dagpåfugleøje

Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock love the Cone flowers.
photo 24.august 2007. Gammel Rye, Mid Jutland: grethe bachmann


Gonepteryx rhamni/Common Brimstone/Citronsommerfugl loves the Sage flowers.
photo 24. august 2007 , Gammel Rye, Mid Jutland: grethe bachmann

A very yellow Pieris rapae/Lille kaalsommerfugl
photo 23. august the island Mors, Limfjorden, North Jutland: grethe bachmann

Strands, Mols, East Jutland


Lovely Icelandic Horses




The upper picture is a holiday house at Strands. Along the coast are hills in ab. 200 m distance from the beach, and along this hillside is a holiday house area; several houses are placed along the edge and have a wonderful view across the waters of Begtrup Vig , Århus Bay and Kattegat.
The second photo is a beach house at Strands and the only one, the area is listed, and it is not allowed to build here. The house was probably once a home for a man who took care of the beach, but now it has been restored and has a probably very happy private owner.

The beach of Strands is situated at Begtrup Vig, a corner of Århus Bay at Mols, which to the east and south is bordered by Helgenæs, to the east by Dragsmur at the landtongue between Mols and Helgenæs. The inner part of Begtrup Vig from a small island Rønnen to the north and to Stavsøre at Helgenæs is surrounded by meadows and fields. To the north is more hilly, and here are the villages Begtrup and Strands and further to the west are areas with holiday houses; the coast then turns south forming the peninsula Skødshoved with the southern point Mols Hoved. The landscape is formed by the movement of the ice during the last Ice Age.

The inner part of Begtrup Vig is a section of Natura 2000-area "51 Begtrup Vig og kystområder ved Helgenæs", and is EU-habitat area.



The Icelandic horses might feel they are in paradise at this place and on such a summer's day. They are very popular with families coming here with their children who love those friendly quiet horses. They are behind fence, but they come willingly up to people to have a little talk. I think they are so beautiful.






Begtrup Vig is sheltered from all wind directions so it is a good place to go sailing. A family was preparing for a trip and the father was impatient. "I'm ready with the boat, now come!" But the little one started to cry. She did not want to have this west on, she did not want to go on that boat, she was very displeased! But finally the whole family was onboard - and I reckon they had a good sailing trip - without getting seasick. A small boat bobs up and down!


I wonder if this is a fox-hole. Smelled like one.



A flowering field, but a photo will never do it justice. You'll miss the warm sun and the lovely scents from the flowers and the nearby wild roses - you'll miss the humming of the bumble-bees and the fluttering of the butterflies - and you'll miss the sound of the small waves when they touch the stones by the water's edge.



A Common Blue


A Peacock butterfly

If you like butterflies, there are photos on my Danish blog: "Sommerfugle i Danmark".

Have a nice day! Thanks for visiting my blog.


photo Strands 2008: grethe bachmann

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anemone nemorosa



One of the first flowers of spring in the forest is the white anemone, spreading a lovely thick carpet of pure white flowers all over the forest floor, before the beeches come into leaf. The white anemone, Anemone nemorosa, is common in hardwoods. The name anemone origins from the Greek word anemos = wind. Denmark: Among many local names were feberurt (feverherb), spring lily and 'little white crow's feet'.The old herbalists called the Wood Anemone the Wood Crowfoot, because its leaves resemble in shape those of some species of Crowfoot. We also find it called Smell Fox. The specific name of nemorosa refers to its woodland habits.



In sunshine, the flower is expanded wide, but at the approach of night, it closes and droops its graceful head so that the dew may not settle on it and injure it. If rain threatens in the daytime, it does the same, receiving the drops upon its back, whence they trickle of harmlessly from the sepal tips. The way the sepals then fold over the mass of stamens and undeveloped seed-vessels in their centre has been likened to a tent, in which, as used fancifully to be said by country-folk, the fairies nestled for protection, having first pulled the curtains round them.



Folk medicine:
When the farmers in spring caught the sight of the first anemones, they eat at once three flowers as a protection against the dreaded cold fever (malaria) , and the flowers were also given to people, who already had this disease - and they were dried for use in winter. After having eaten the first three flowers , people had to say a magic verse and a prayer to God if he would protect them from the cold fever . White anemones crushed with egg white and salt were bound upon arteries against cold fever. Swelling feet had a bath in a decoction on white or blue anemone flowers. Only the flowers were used in folk medicine, since the juice from the plant was considered very poisonous. The plant was said to give the cattle bloody urine.Lineaeus says that cattle have been poisoned by eating it in the fresh state after having been underfed and kept on dry food during the winter, so that they were ready to browse on the first leaves they saw.



The Egyptians held the Anemone as the emblem of sickness, perhaps from the flush of colour upon the backs of the white sepals. The Chinese call it the 'Flower of Death.' In some European countries it is looked on by the peasants as a flower of ill-omen, though the reason of the superstition is obscure. The Romans plucked the first Anemones as a charm against fever, and in some remote districts this practice long survived, it being considered a certain cure to gather an Anemone saying, 'I gather this against all diseases,' and to tie it round the invalid's neck.
Greek legends say that Anemos, the Wind, sends his namesakes the Anemones, in the earliest spring days as the heralds of his coming. Pliny affirmed that they only open when the wind blows, hence their name of Windflower, and the unfolding of the blossoms in the rough, windy days of March has been the theme of many poets:
'Coy anemone that ne'er uncloses
Her lips until they're blown on by the wind.'
Culpepper also uses the word 'windflower.' In Greek mythology it sprang from the tears of Venus, as she wandered through the woodlands weeping for the death of Adonis -
'Where streams his blood there blushing springs a rose
And where a tear has dropped, a wind-flower blows.'


photo: grethe bachmann

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vige, a Strange and Wise Dog



Dogs wearing names from ancient days are few, but one is mentioned in the Norse legend Heimskringla, written by the Icelandic Snorre Sturlasson ab. 1220. Olav Trygvasson is one of the kings in Snorre's tale who is most lifelike.

When he lived in England with his wife Gyda, who was the widow after an earl, he often went on Viking expeditions to Ireland. In such an expedition he achieved the dog Vige. Snorre says that they missed food on the ships, why it was necessary to do some poaching. His men went ashore and drove a great flock of cattle down to the beach. After the cattle followed a peasant, and he asked so urgently to have his cows back that Olaf allowed him to take them, if he could find them "But don't waste our time," he said to the peasant.

The peasant was followed by a large sheep dog, and he let it run into the cattle flock among hundreds of cows. The dog soon had gathered a flock, which were all marked in the same way, the same number the peasant had told Olaf. Everyone could see that this dog had done right and that it must really be a very wise dog. Olaf asked the peasant if he would give it to him. The peasant said yes and Olaf gave him a gold ring and promised him his friendship. The dog was named Vige and was the wisest among dogs.



The dog followed probably Olaf back to England. Shortly after was Olaf contacted by a man from Norway, Tore Klakke, who persuaded him to go to Norway to seek his fortune there. Olaf arrived in Norway at a time where the Norwegians were about to rebell the regent, Hakon Jarl. As a descendant of Harald Hårfager Olaf was received with open arms by the rebels. When Hakon Jarl had been defeated Olaf became king . He had some opponents, especially in the northernest part of Norway, in Hålogaland. Some chiefs had the power and will to oppose king Olaf, in his feud with one of those chiefs Olaf's dog played an important role.

A mighty peasant Red was very rich , and he had a good friend Tore. They were both great chiefs. They gathered an army when they heard that king Olaf would soon arrive with a large fleet. Red had a large dragonship with a golden head, also Tore had a large ship. They sailed south to meet king Olaf and a great battle arose with lots of slaughter. The chiefs from the north were not succesfull and Red rowed his dragonship out from the battle and sailed home.

Tore rowed his ships to the beach and he and his men went ashore. King Olaf followed them; he and his men went ashore too and persecuted the rebels and slashed them down. The king was in the front as always. He saw where Tore was running and Olaf run after him followed by his dog Vige. "Take the deer, Vige", cried the king. The dog run along after Tore and jumped at him. The king shot a spear towards him, just when Tore gave the dog a big wound with his sword. The spear hit Tore under the arm and went through his body. Tore died, but Vige was carried out to the ships. Vige is not mentioned anymore, so we don't know if it survived.

Many dog-skeletons found from Iron Age have traces from healed wounds and fractures. A dog who was worth a gold ring was probably given a good and considerate care.

Source: Archaeological Magazine "Skalk", February 2007, article by Eva Koch.


photo Moesgård Dec. 2008: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Jutland Horse/Den Jyske Hest




Kærup Holme, Vejlerne, North Jutland



We always say hello to this friendly Jutland in Vrads village, Mid Jutland


Christmas in Randers & the Jutland Horse in Randers by sculptor Helen Schou

The Jutland horse is a horse breed originating from Denmark. It can be traced back to the 12th century. From the ninth century images of Danish warriors show them riding horses with similar characteristics.

In 1843 fifty Yorkshire stallions were imported to the newly established stud farm at Koldinghus Castle. In the first generation they were excellent, but their good qualitities did not last. After a long struggle the breeders succeeded in putting in the rest of the pure-bred Jutland horse in a preservation-work which made the race recover its strength. In 1862 the horse dealer Louis Oppenheim sent a red Suffolk stallion with white fetlocks to Denmark. It was breeded with the Jutland, which it brought so much good that it saved the Jutland horse and gave it the character and look it has today.


A rare sight, a grey Jutland

Originally the Jutlands were grey, brown, black and chestnut, red with white man and fetlock. Today the red ones are dominating. The grey have almost disappeared and there are only few black Jutland left. In the 1950s there were several hundred thousand Jutlands in Denmark. Today there are about 1000 left.

The Jutland horse has been used by the Carlsberg brewery for pulling their drays since 1928. Today, Carlsberg’s horses are used solely as 'ambassadors': at festivals and fairs, on special occasions for customers, and as a subject for the world’s photographers.

photo 2006,2008, 2009, 2010: grethe bachman

The Jutland Horse/ Den Jyske Hest




Kærup Holme, Vejlerne, North Jutland



We always say hello to this friendly Jutland in Vrads village, Mid Jutland


Christmas in Randers & the Jutland Horse in Randers by sculptor Helen Schou

The Jutland horse is a horse breed originating from Denmark. It can be traced back to the 12th century. From the ninth century images of Danish warriors show them riding horses with similar characteristics.

In 1843 fifty Yorkshire stallions were imported to the newly established stud farm at Koldinghus Castle. In the first generation they were excellent, but their good qualitities did not last. After a long struggle the breeders succeeded in putting in the rest of the pure-bred Jutland horse in a preservation-work which made the race recover its strength. In 1862 the horse dealer Louis Oppenheim sent a red Suffolk stallion with white fetlocks to Denmark. It was breeded with the Jutland, which it brought so much good that it saved the Jutland horse and gave it the character and look it has today.


A rare sight, a grey Jutland

Originally the Jutlands were grey, brown, black and chestnut, red with white man and fetlock. Today the red ones are dominating. The grey have almost disappeared and there are only few black Jutland left. In the 1950s there were several hundred thousand Jutlands in Denmark. Today there are about 1000 left.

The Jutland horse has been used by the Carlsberg brewery for pulling their drays since 1928. Today, Carlsberg’s horses are used solely as 'ambassadors': at festivals and fairs, on special occasions for customers, and as a subject for the world’s photographers.

photo 2006,2008, 2009, 2010: grethe bachmann