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Author Topic:   Milled bands

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 03-19-2007 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Above is a presentation cup by either John or Samuel Warrington of Philadelphia, PA. The engraving, "Presented to S. Major by T & E. Bentley" together with the word "Sombretillio" has always intrigued me. Does anyone know what Sombretillio means?

The milled band forms a base pedestal and may be of interest to the glossary of milled bands.

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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-20-2007 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This band has been added to the milled band thread (Glossary of Milled Bands) as "scalloped."

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iconnumber posted 03-20-2007 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The historical pattern name is "leaf and dart," which might be a better choice.

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iconnumber posted 03-20-2007 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Leaf and dart alternates leaves and darts; this pattern seems to have leaves overlapping leaves, and so might not strictly meet the definition of alternating forms.

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iconnumber posted 03-26-2007 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Paul Lemieux:

This is a fascinating topic. However, I recommended the following changes in terminology.
"Shields" and "Scalloped" are stylized foliate motifs. "Shell 1" can also be considered foliate (palmette band).

"Arches 1" is a blossom motif.

"Leaf and Vine" 1 & 2 seem to be laurel leaves.

For "Flowers, cables, & beads", I would use "rosettes" instead of "flowers".

For "Braided", I would use "interlace" or "interlacement".

The "Palmette" pattern you illustrate is a kind of modification of the Greek original. A true Greek palmette's leaves spring from a central, rounded leaf, which is typically flanked on either side by a scroll shape. In most cases where the palmette appears as a repeating banded design, these scrolls connect to the scrolls of adjoining palmettes. The palmettes shown here are just the top 2/3 or so of a complete classical palmette.

Except for the interlace and rosette patterns, all of those that I mentioned are common Neoclassical designs, derived from banded decoration typically found on Greek friezes and vessels, such as vases.

Though interlace patterns also appear in Greek decoration, the particular example you picture seems to tend more toward a Medieval Celtic origin.

The rosette, cable, & bead design is sort of a mishmash in my eye. The idea of rosettes alternating with pairs of beads does occur in classical decoration, but the present rosettes are less austere and symmetrical, and perhaps have more of a Renaissance feeling. The cables are just sort of there, and I think this is among my least favorite of all the decorative bands you have shown

Also having a Renaissance vibe are the strung discs bordering the basket-weave design.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 03-26-2007).]

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iconnumber posted 03-26-2007 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the comments and suggestions, Paul - your opinions are valuable and they will be considered. As stated in the introduction, all names in quotes are provisional, but in fact all the names are tentative - we are looking for cited examples as authorities; for example:

"Shell 1" is illustrated as an example of a shell in an online architectural dictionary - when you click on "shell" in the list of terms, this is what you get.; it refers to a specific type of shell known as a coquille.

Palmette is as close as I could get to an illustrated example. It originally reminded me of the shell derived designs on the back of some spoons, but I had used "spray" because there were other, more typical shells.

I agree that the "braided" design conveys a Celtic impression - I had originally toyed with a Viking related name, but since most of these designs are classical Greco-Roman in origin, I chose a purely descriptive name pending an applicable example from a citable source.

Poke around in the architectural dictionary or another such source, and if other such examples can be found, please post them, but not in the Glossary itself. Until then, short of actual errors, one name may be as good as another.

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-26-2007 10:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just poked around in my copy of Meyer's Handbook of Ornament. There are a couple examples of shell-like designs similar to yours (shell 1) that are identified as leaves. One the other hand, there are also similar examples described as shells. This is why I didn't make a definite pronouncement about that particular band. I suppose when something is that stylized, its real identity would be determined through its context in an overall decorative scheme. In the case of the silver piece with Shell 1, there is no decorative scheme beyond the motif itself, so it is open to interpretation.

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