The Parasol Duelling Figures

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

An Elegant Display

Here is a magnificent display of the formal Parasol Duelling figures.

They are being demonstrated by the accomplished and beautiful Raven Hawthorne, who competed in the World Championships this year held in Calgary Alberta.

Here she is in fine, and colourful, competition form during the Flirtation Trials at the 2014 World Championships!

The following photos were done to assist the judges in evaluating the formal positions during the Compulsory Figures portion of a full Parasol Duelling competition. I have also included Madame Saffron Hemlock's comments on the significance of each figure in the social life of a Lady.

Here then are the formal figures which all Duels are composed of.

First up we have the PLANT

 Note the upright posture and the vertical position of the parasol shaft in this photo.

Modern Duelling Parasols tend to be short so it is not necessary to actually "Plant" the point on the ground.

The plant is a sturdy position from which to move to other figures and one that can be completed very quickly if needed to counter a snub.

Madame Saffron Hemlock says of the Plant:

"Every lady must at some time take a stand, either in defence of her person or her principles. The Plant says, “This far and no further.” Or, alternately, as if she is Gandalf upon the Bridge, telling the Balrog, “You Shall Not Pass.” But gracefully. And without raising her voice."

Next we have the TWIRL

Something to note in this photo of a proper Twirl is that the shaft of the parasol does not rest on the shoulder but is held slightly above.

The Twirl is an elegant swirl of colour over a Lady's shoulder and makes a great display piece.

The Twirl should be used with care because it takes some time to complete but if started when an opponent has committed to a plant can be successful.

To be considered complete the parasol must complete at least one 360 degree rotation.

Care must be taken to not have the open parasol touch the hat or some judges may subtract points during the compulsory figures.

Madame Saffron Hemlock says of the Twirl:

"A lady in a tete-a-tete with a friend creates a personal space behind her, into which nobody can stick their long nose or their over-eager ears without looking ridiculous. A well-placed Twirl not only frames the lady’s face becomingly from the front and enhances the intimacy of her invitation to a tete-a-tete, it protects her rearward space from busy-bodies and the over-familiar hands of passing cads."

Finally we have the SNUB

The Snub is the most active of the figures.  Note especially the directness of the position, it is important to "aim" directly at the opponent.  The snub must start closed and is then opened to be considered complete.

The Snub is the one figure for which technology has an important role to play. Modern metal shafted and catchless parasols excel in the speed at which they can be opened and closed. This makes the Snub an excellant figure to be used for quick changes if needed to take advantage of an opponent's twirl.

Madame's comments are succinct:

"Self-evidently, a Snub enforces a forward personal space against riff-raff, upstarts, former friends, arch-enemies, and other undesirable persons."

Street Duel figures are similar, with the exception of the Twirl which is usually done to the side given the shortness of the Street Duel Parasol's shaft. 

Thanks again to Raven Hawthorne for her great pictures!

To find out more about this great sport go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

For background on the history and development of Parasol Duelling 
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling

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


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