Evidence of Parasol Duelling in Historical Artworks

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Parasol Duelling in art!

Originally posted in Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

Some strong evidence for Parasol Duelling can be found in these paintings by John Fredric Lloyd Strevens (1902-1990). While these pictures were painted in the first half of the Twentieth Century however they incorporate very interesting details when looked at from a Parasol Duelist's perspective. 

Key points to notice with reference to the Rules for Parsol Duelling I posted previously here:

1) No "hooks" on the handle to prevent catching during the "twirl"
2) There is no catch to keep the parasol closed so it is tied with the same ribbon used to mark the complete rotation during a twirl
3) When closed the parasol is hung from the arm by a loop, thus keeping it handy even when both hands were needed.
4) The cuffs are not plain, but where lots of lace is present they are mid forearm length thus preventing any interference with the parasol.

Key elements here are the lack of hook on the handle and the ribbons keeping the duelling parasol closed. Note how this duelist keeps her parasol handy in case of need by the removable ribbon that hangs the parasol from her arm.

While an otherwise unremarkable domestic scene, I would not be surprised if this lady did not figure very well in the competitions!

An elegant twirl!

Worthy of a Flirtation Trial finalist!

 A fine "snub" form.

Note the steely gaze of a hardened competitor!

The mid sleeve lace is common during the time when lace cuffs were fashionable amongst the non-duelling public.

Going for the "plant"!

Note how the ribbon that holds the parasol shut has been slipped back out of the way. This painting shows the confident stance and easy motion of an accomplished Parasol Duelist.

She could easily go to a "snub" or a "twirl" next.

This lady knows her business!

Things to note in this image, the relatively plain cuffs, the ribbon holding the parasol to her arm in readiness, the tipped forward hat. This latter is important because it allows a lady's hat to be elaborate but also prevents interference with the Parasol during a "twirl".

I particularly like the intense look of this serious competitor!

Paintings taken from this fantastic website Tutt's Art@

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.


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