Pictures of Tents and Pavilions in Froissart's Chronicles
Note that although many of the events described in these pictures took place
in the 14th century or earlier, the pictures come from a 15th-century ms.
and should probably be taken to indicate 15th-century style in pavilioning,
Almost all the tents in these pictures are circular, although the Siege of Duras and the Siege of Reims each shows one or two rectangular tents.
Many, but by no means all, have visible guy-ropes.
Decoration includes dark colors with painted swirly patterns (e.g. the
Siege of Mahdia), dark with painted spiral bands (e.g. the
English crossing the Tyne ),
and white with painted geometric patterns, often in the same camp (e.g. the
Siege of Cassel and the
Siege of Reims).
- A battle scene from the Battle of Cassel
(1328) Note: includes not only several round
tents, but two trestle-tables hung with tableclothes, one of them
set with something tall and skinny -- candlesticks? ewers?
pepper-grinders? modern art?
- The capture of Charles de Blois (1347).
Note the tent in the foreground, partially collapsed but still retaining its
conical roof shape. This suggests some sort of rigid or semirigid internal
framework, e.g. a hoop or a hub-and-spoke construction.
- The Siege of Brest (1373).
- The Battle of Chizé (1373).
Note the external storm-guys, which in our experience not only steady the
tent against high winds but make it much easier to put up and take down.
- The Siege of Duras (1377).
- The Siege of Hennebont (1342).
- The Siege of Lisbon (1384).
Note the loops connecting the edge of the wall to the ground.
- The Siege of Mahdia (1390).
Note the unusually tall round tents, apparently easily tall enough for
men on horseback to enter. There are no visible guy ropes, but in the
lower-left foreground is a good detail of how the walls are staked down.
- The Massacre of Christian prisoners taken
at the battle of Nicopol.
The tent belongs to the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, and may depict an
actual Ottoman tent, a European tent, or an utter figment of the artist's
- The Siege of Reims (1359/60).
The decorations on these tents include both the traceries of the
14th century (albeit a little more ornate) and the solid colors of the 15th.
The round tents do have guy lines, both from the shoulders and
from the peak.
- The Siege of Roalès (1387).
Guy lines from the shoulders, not apparently from the peaks. Good picture
of wall stakes.
- The Jousts of St. Inglevert,
showing an apparent arming pavilion behind the jousting field, with the
emblazoned shields of both contestants (at least, that's my take).
- The Crossing of the Tyne in the Anglo-Scottish War.
Stephen Bloch / email@example.com
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