Friday, June 27, 2008

Egg and Dart

No, Irene did not get after me when I was gathering eggs out of the hen house.

"Who is Irene?" you ask.

At one time my grandparents had tons of yard birds. (Chickens and Guineas) They wondered the grounds of the home place during the day and roosted at night in the tall cedars that lined the ditch of the dirt road.

Irene was the longest living hen that ever set foot on my grandparents farm. She was mean, and she was ugly, but she kept all her biddies alive. You could not get with in 10 feet of her, before she would run after you feathers ruffled ready to peck out your eyeballs. You would then dart about screaming at the top of your lungs, until Grandma came out with a broom to settle Irene down. ( Come to think of it, a broom is the weapon of choice for Gran. I can recall when she got after dogs with it, children with it, and even Grandpa with it a couple of times. )

It was always a game to see if you could ever catch one of Irene's biddies without blood being drawn. I caught one once. With the (at least 50' tall) stick that held up the clothesline in hand, I "shooed" Irene into the cage that my Grandpa kept raccoons in sometimes. ( I don't know why he had 'coons in the cage? To show us I guess.) Then, I quickly latched the door. The cage "bars" allowed the biddies to get out, and kept Irene in. The worse part was, Gran made me free Irene from the cage. She stood by supervising, broom in hand, just in case Irene made a run for me. Actually she probably stood there to make sure I was doing what I was told.


The chunk of rubble that I posted about yesterday is a stylized version of a classical egg and dart detail.

I scrolled through my Sunday Walk pictures, to find shots of this detail.

This image shows a very clear "egg" and "dart" no stylization left for any imagination.

This version is a little more loose in the interpretation of the motif.
My favorite part is the half daisies on the corners.

The scale of ThirteenEleven's chunk of rubble is more like what is represented in these images.

An art history professor once mentioned that the Egg and Dart motif was a classical fertility symbol. I can't find a link on line to back that up, and I am too lazy to find it in an actual book..... However, when I think of Egg and Dart, I think of gathering eggs at my grandparents farm and quickly darting out of the way of the mother hen.

12 comments: said...

Ummm...what's a biddie?

Jenni said...

A biddie is a baby chick.

NatalieDeltaGam said...

You had Irene, my grandparents had Dave, the attack rooster with the long spurs. Most people don't realize just how crazy chickens can be!

Green Fairy said...

Darts or arrows stood for virility/fertility/lightning/rain; Apollo's arrows, for example, were the rays of the sun. Eggs are a natural fertility symbol, often associated with spring festivals of rebirth.

I had no idea that a biddie was a baby chick...I learn something new every time I go through my blog roll. :-)

Jenni said...

I am not sure if "Biddie" is regional country slang for baby chick. Maybe is is. Anyone?

Green Fairy- I knew you would know the symbolism when I could not find a link.

Natalie-I know...Sometimes those birds do get a bid Crazy.

Stephanie said...

I'll never look at egg and dart molding the same way again! :-)

Andrea said...

I didn't know a biddie was a baby chick either. Cute post.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please visit again and I will do the same.

Enjoy your weekend. It is hard to believe the year is about half over.

Sandy said...

My grandmother always referred to a biddy as biddy hen... I didn't realize it was, indeed, a baby chick.

I had forgotten about egg and dart... been a long time since I've seen it.

A-M said...

Oh Irene, I would have loved to have met you. I love animals with attitude! Thankyou for adding me to your blogcat list.. I am still new to all this.. so I need to take time to explore what it all means. Your renovation sounds exhilarating! I am so keen to get my house started.. the wait has been so long that I am starting to second guess my decisions as I have had so long to stew over them. Any advice from a seasoned builder/renovator? I think I am also frightened that it wont look anything like I had planned!!!! A-M xx said...

I was at a flea market today and there was a picture frame that looked "egg and dart". When I got closer I realized it was walnet shells that had had been halfed, glued on the frame and painted. It looked cool. LOL

Jenni said...

Upstate- I use to use Walnut shells as craft projects as a kid. I made turtles out of them. The flea market find does sounds cool.

A-M- Joining the Houseblogs community was a big help for me. There is tons of information out there from other DIYers. I am always second guessing myself. So you are not alone there. Irene would have been sure to chase you. She is a legend in our family.

Anonymous said...

Egg and dart, among many others > fertility symbols > pagan symbols going all the way back to Babylon.