Saturday 15 October 2011

Additional medieval strycsitten images

I have found some new additional medieval strycsitten images, mostly of the French type, as well as a "how-to-make" a German type strycsitten link on the internet. Noteworthy is that one of the French strycsitten images shows a decorated reinforcement of the backrest.

A courtesan sitting on a French type stryxsitten. The ends of the armsrests are pointed.
 Miniature around 1405. Ms. 664 fol. 209v, Bibliotheque National, Paris, France.

Strycsitten with reinforcements on the backrest from a miniature of 'Mare Historianum' of Giovanni Colonna 15th century. Ms. Latin 4915 f 1. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France. 

Late 15th century miniature of a French type strycsitten. 
Missel de l 'abbaye de Montierneuf. Ms. Latin 873, F. 2 v. Bibiliotheque National, Paris, France.

The plan of the German strycsitten (by SCA member Raymond J. Hindle) includes a chest beneath the seating. Though this strycsitten plan uses screws, this can easily be converted to a medieval type of construction. The article includes also two photos (by David Kuijt) of an original German strycsitten, and an photo of a altarpiece in Rothenburg, Germany, which are depicted here as well.

 The backrest, as well as the side and front of the strycsitten are elaborately carved. There is no information on the whereabouts of this strycsitten provided, but it looks identical to one the the Nurnberg Museum, Germany (pine, 146 cm long / 77 high and 37 cm deep - see my first post on strycsittens). Photos by David Kuijt.

Two elaborately carved German type strycsittens in a painting of Gabriel Maelesskircher "The meal in the house of Simon the Pharisee" 15th century, German National Museum, Neurenberg.

A replica of this type exist in the medieval open air museum (Mittelaltermuseet) in Nykobing, Denmark (Photo Thomasguild).
The strycsitten in the traders house in the Mittelaltermuseet, Nykobing, Denmark. 

These two strycsittens are from the collection of Albert Figdor and taken from the auction catalogue. 
Another post shows photos of the same strycsittens, but  from the other side.


  1. Marijn, apparantly there is also a strycsitten from c. 1400 in the 'Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte' in Dortmund. A shame it was not on display when I was there a few years ago.

    By the way, what do you know about the use of this type of bench around 1370? IIRC, I have not yet come across them in texts or art, but would love to be able to use one.

  2. I have checked all the strycsitten images, and they are all from the 15th century, except one from the 16th century. The earliest I found is from 1405. They seem to be quite abundant; likely they existed already for some years before they were depicted. I think the best way to find them in the 14th century is to check the housing inventories of burghers around that time.

    In French, the strycsitten is called "Banc a perche"; A description of the goods in the Chateau de Vincennes (in the book of P. Eames) mentions "Ou Retrait [de la chambre de la Cage, estant en la grosse tour] une banc a perche et a marche, de six piez ou environ." (In the inner chamber of the chamber of the cage, in the great tower, a bench with a turnable rail with a footboard, of about 6 feet long). But this is also 1420.

    Do you have an image of the Dortmund strycsitten?

  3. I found evidence of its existence in a civilian / farmer household of 1384 in Flanders. A bench was called a 'lijs' there, and so it seems one with a turning backrest a 'keerlijs'.

    Middle Dutch dictionary:

    German explanation:

    Rumbeke, 1384, Flanders, inventory:

    This is all I have on the Dortmund one, a bad photo:

  4. Bertus, you are amazing uncovering such data!

    The album on the Dortmund strycsitten has another, even worse, image of it

    Though the image quality hurts your eye, there is still some information on it. It is a small strycsitten, like the one of the Rijksmuseum. If you look at the feet, you notice that there is only a low horizontal beam on one side of the sitten. The sides of the strycsitten are closed. All in all it looks more a small version of the strycsitten at Chateaux Martainville. I would date this later than 1400, based on the style. A precise date can only be made dendrologically or on a purchase history.

  5. I have found another image of altarpiece depicting the 15th century German strycsitten(s). It even has two strycsittens! I have changed the images.
    According to David Kuijt the original was in a church in Rothenburg a/d Tauber, Germany. The text with the other image however states it is in the German National Museum in Nurenberg, painted by Gabriel Maelesskircher. They could be the same, or one is a copy of the other...

  6. Hi, thank you for your very interesting informations on your page, which I just recently discovered. There is another example of a 15th c. strycsitten or sidelbank in the Great Hall of Gamburg Castle o.d. Tauber, one of the very few remaining examples in Germany at all. You can find some pictures of it on facebook:

  7. Thanks a lot for the link with the beautiful photos. I especially like the opened sidelbank, providing information on the inside of the truhe (chest) part.

  8. You are very welcome! The chest lid seems to have been restored or strengthened at a later time, but the rest is apparently original. Glad you liked it! :)