Nevertheless, a few contrasts may be drawn between byzantine habits of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and those of earlier periods, and it is tempting to relate them to changes in the social structure of the empire. Post strikingly, Byzantines seem to have become better dressed.
The people in the crowd went barefoot, and even the magnates were wearing shabby hand-me-downs. But Ibn Hauqal, who also wrote in the tenth century, held much the same opinion. It appears that the Byzantines were not just better dressed; they were also more variously and elaborately clad. Wool remained the most common material, but silk, cotton, and linen were all available for finer garments. The traditional full-length patrician costumes, the full caftan with wide sleeves and the straight caftan with tight sleeves, worn with high boots, remained in use, as manuscript illuminations show.
Western observers at that time were surprised by the close-fitting apparel that they found in the East. Trousers were mentioned twice more by Choniates in ambiguous descriptions of emperors. Rather than walk, as was traditional for emperors, Andronikos Comnenus preferred to ride to the Shrine of Christ the Savior.
Zonaras disdainfully wrote that some men wore wigs and had free-flowing hair down to their waists, like women PG Andronikos Comnenus, for instance , wore a slit mauve costume sewn of Georgian fabric that came down to his knees and covered only his upper arms; he had a smoke-colored hat in the shape of a pyramid Even emperors might be critical of new fashions. It is not, however, clear that the new fashions in which Alexios was interested concerned clothing. Choniates noted that he set a fashion of sleeping during the day and entertaining during the night and, further, that he cleaned his teeth and replaced those that fell out with new ones made of resin Ethnic diversity, too, was to be seen in eleventh -and twelfth-century Byzantine dress.
Illuminated manuscripts suggest, for instance, that Bulgarians had an identifiable costume, 15 and other ethnic groups within the empire also wore traditional attire.
Skylitzes reported that a certain Alousianos, a Bulgarian noble exiled to Armenia, escaped from his place of banishment by dressing in Armenian clothing, thereby going un-noticed Skyl. Dress also varied according to social status; a member of the elite could always be distinguished from a peasant or an artisan. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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Which last story is somewhat hard to believe, for if the rich merchant and tulip fancier was anything like the Dutchmen of to-day, he would not have left his priceless bulbs lying about, either by his kitchen door or anywhere else. And if the sailor ;vas so really foolish as, at that time when tulips were the things of moment, to mistake an uncooked one for an onion, he would have been better informed about a cooked one. He would not, as according to the tale he did, have needed enlightening by the merchant, who is narrated to have exclaimed, after the event: "Inconsiderate man!
Thou hast ruined me with thy breakfast! I could have regaled a king with it! Parkinson, certainly, says they are pleasant, though truth compels him to qualify the statement by adding, "at least, not unpleasant.
It is the custom to say that the romance of tulip-growing has gone; it is wonderful how often Romance is announced as dead and gone, a many-lived thing one must think it to need so many death-knells. Tulip-growing now, it is said, is a mere commercial enterprise, a growing without interest of hundreds of thousands of the cheapest sorts and selling them for the best price obtainable; no longer any interest or individuality in it, no one thinking or caring for new sorts or history, or anything but price per hundred.
It may be; romance is a strange thing; whether the term is applied to flower or adventure, callings or institutions, it does not really refer to the concerned actors and doers, but to the sentiments and opinions of the unconcerned lookers-on. These unconcerned at one time had a craze for tulips, -- then tulips were romantic; now they are not, and romance is gone.
Now these folk merely order, or let their gardeners order, so many red and so many white, so many double, single, striped, or plain. There is no more romance now to them in tulip producing and buying than in grocery producing and buying: that is to say, they talk little more about the one than the other, their horticultural conversation is now centred on hybrid teas and herbaceous borders.
It was not so a hundred years ago, tulips were then in fashion. In an old miscellany of that time there is a delightful conversation on the tulip subject, the writer purporting to have overheard a talk between two people he could not see on the behaviour and condition of persons of importance. Very strange behaviour it sounded-how a crowned head was feeling the weather, how a favourite general was doing well, seeing his situation, and, finally, how one speaker would show the other a Painted Lady and a Chimney Sweep in the same bed.
The writer describes himself as hastening after to share the sight, and as being delighted to find the conversation referred to nothing scandalous, but to "the beautiful vegetables" then in fashion. He may have been delighted, we can give him the benefit of the doubt -- possibly he did not frequent country houses and large suburban villas. He could hardly have done so, else the talk would not have had the charm of novelty for him, for wheresoever two or three glove-gardeners are gathered together -- or even where there is only one -- the specific names of varieties of the flower then in fashion fall like rain on the interested and uninterested alike.
Not that the Dutch grower has any quarrel with the glove-gardeners, he has none at all; if the trend of fashion prevents them from buying expensive and choice tulips, it also prevents them from caring for the ones they do buy, and so necessitates the frequent replenishing of their stock. They are the grower's chief purchasers, and though he feels a little hurt when they, ignoring his plain directions for cultivation, and getting poor results in consequence, complain of the quality of his bulbs, he never gainsays their taste in varieties. On the contrary, he compiles his catalogue to what he thinks is their fancy, and grows by the acre whatever they and their gardeners ordain to be beautiful.
But the real interest and life of bulb-growing did not begin with the enthusiasm of folk of this kind, nor did it die when that died. The true grower still feels a holy joy over a new streak of colour, a new shape of petal; he still has his collectors over the world looking for novelties; he still sows and hybridises, and patiently and intelligently works, and feels the connoisseur's satisfaction in success, his own or another's.
Tulips are grown in Holland to-day much as they were two hundred years ago.
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The land is very deeply worked in winter, so that the frost may penetrate and kill mice and other vermin; also if, as is not often the case round Haarlem, the ground is stiff to soften it fit for the bulbs. In the spring it is manured: for tulips there is not such heavy manuring as for hyacinths, these last are by far the fattest liking of all the bulbs. It is possible, in fact it is often advisable, to grow tulips one year on the ground which was used for hyacinths the year before, this without any further enriching. After the spring manuring many of the bulb fields are let to market men, who grow vegetables there, but with the understanding that all must be removed and the ground cleared in August, for, though tulips are not put in until the end of September, some other bulbs are planted earlier, so the rule is usually made to apply to all fields.
The tulip bulbs are set by hand, four or five inches apart and four inches below the surface, and left untouched until it is time to cover them with straw for the winter. The covering in their case is very light, not more than half an inch thick, for tulips are perfectly hardy, and need no protection from the cold; but the sandy soil is so light that, unless something were put on it, it would be blown away in the high winds and the bulbs left bare.
The flowering time covers a good while, beginning in mild springs with Duc van Tholl in the early days of March, and ending with the late-blooming May varieties well on in that month. There is one rare specimen of tulip from Central Asia, Tulipa kaufmanniana , which flowers in Holland in February, but as yet this is not widely grown. It is, unfortunately, necessary to cut off the flower heads of all varieties, excepting such as are being saved for seed, before their beauty is quite spent.
Happily, however, the cutting does not have to be done too soon after the opening, unless the weather is very rainy. Wet engenders some disease in the flower, which goes downwards and infects the roots unless the blooms are cut off in time. They are usually cut stalkless, really beheaded; rows of them so treated are rather a woeful sight, although the delicate colour of their broad leaves makes the gardens where they are still beautiful.
Sara Scott (Author of From Addict to Aristocrat)
In June they are taken out of the ground. The new young bulbs are found to be developed from within the old, which gradually shrivel away to give room to the young; in nothing of the parent left but which can be removed by hand. New varieties are usually though some are sports; there such now, a fine yellow tulip, the end there is a few hard scales, raised from seed, is at Haarlem one which, a few years ago, "sported" from a well-known red variety; the man who owns it found it when the bulbs were in bloom.
It is not a "rogue" but a true bulb, in leaf and flower representing the old red type, only in colour yellow instead of red. The ways of seedling tulips are rather strange; when they first flower, which is sometimes not till they are as much as seven years old, they are usually self-coloured.
But in a few years' time they "break," that is, the flowers are no longer self-coloured but variegated. When this will happen it is not possible to foretell, sometimes, most usually, within two or three years of first blooming; sometimes, though not often, not till after five-and-twenty or thirty years. The reason of this remarkable peculiarity does not seem to be clearly understood. Parkinson, it is true, offers one: "All such flowers not having their originall in that manner for some that have such or the like marks from the beginning, that is, from the first and second years flowering, are constant, and doe not change , but as I said, were of one colour at the first, do show the weakness and decay of the roots, and this extraordinary beauty in the flower, is but as the brightness of a light, upon the very extinguishing thereof, and doeth plainly declare that it can doe his master no more service, and therefore with this jollity doth bid him goodnight.
There are certain distinct types in the variegations. Robinson describes them as follows: "A feathered tulip has the colour finely pencilled round the margin of the petals, the base of the flowers being pure; in a "Flamed" flower stripes of colour descend from the top of the petals towards the base. In the Bizarres the colours are red, brownish-red, chestnut and maroon, the base being clear yellow; in the Bybloomens the colours are black and various shades of purple, the base being white; and in the Roses, rose of various shades, and also deep red or scarlet, the base being white again.
Aristocratic and Gentry Women, 1460–1640
Seeing the admiration of these connoisseurs of the past for streaked tulips it is surprising we hear little or nothing of the Parrot Tulipa turcica. In some form it must have been in existence at the time of the mania, for Parkinson, writing earlier, mentions among his "mean flowering tulips" something which appears to be it. It is classed as a subdivision of the "Yellow Fool's Coat" tulip, and is described as "of a paler or yellowish green passed with yellow and called the Parret, with white edges.
Striped or streaky flowers appear always to have been the florist's ambition. Nature, in the general way, is not much addicted to the unaided production thereof; probably it is for that reason that growers have always regarded them as choice. As far back as Shakespeare's time pied or striped flowers would seem to have been the choicest; "the favourite flowers o' the season," Perdita says, "are our carnations and streaked gilly'vors.
It is he, also, who truly appreciates the double flower. Nature of herself does not very often double flowers, man invariably doubles every kind he can so soon as he takes it into cultivation. Tulips have been doubled very long, and were at one time much admired, though they are thought less of now. In England, at all events, they meet with comparatively little patronage, excepting a few dwarf sorts used for forcing and for carpet-bedding, and some large white ones which, when wide open, find a place in bouquets and floral trophies, where they look rather like peonies.
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The history of the origin of the tulip as we have it is somewhat lost in mist.
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