Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Maiden, the Dragon & St. George

Hola! This is going to be short, I may revisit this topic later on. It's too beautiful a day here to be sitting inside. I just wanted to post this interesting image of the Dragon and St. George - it's allegedly a chess piece!

I found it by accident while searching for something else entirely.

Saint Georges tuant le dragon
Elément 165 sur 211
Objets d'ArtObjet (Pièce d'échec)Moyen-Age
Matériaux : Ivoire
Date : approx. entre 1240 et 1260
Artiste : Anonyme
Modèles : Dragon, Saint Georges
Evénement : Saint Georges combattant le dragon
Lieu : Metropolitan Museum of ArtMoyen-Age 1
Rez-de-ChausséeVitrine : V20
Région en relation : Angleterre
Acquisition : Don de J. Pierpont Morgan (1917)

I've always been fascinated by the tale of the Maiden, the Dragon and bad old St. George who decides to steal the Maiden from the Dragon - I don't believe for a minute he was trying to "save" her! Aside from the obvious and not-so-obvious symbolism and metaphorical significance of the tale, this piece is fascinating! I've never seen another like it. How do they know it's a chess piece? How big is it (what is its size)? I assume "Angleterre" means England. What kind of ivory is it carved out of? Was it something carried back home by a Crusader?

I could not find this piece at the Met's website despite several different kinds of searches of its database. Any information???

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