I posted this on SFI (link
) but didn't get a reply, so thought to post it here. I hope some of the medievalists here can help.
Flipping through some notes from 2010, I noticed a question that I had forgotten to ask. As I was flipping through photos of a snazzy Italian manuscript from the 1380s (an Arthurian romance), I noticed several illuminations with a crowned figure wearing a white or gold garter at their knees. This reminded me of Fiore's choice to use gold crowns and garters as visual markers in his manuscripts. Does anyone know if gold or silver knee garters were common in northern Italian art at that time, and what they usually signified? I'm no art historian, and only an amateur medievalist who can read Latin but not any 14th century vernacular.
Its MS Francais 343 in the Bibliotheque Nationale du France (go to http://mandragore.bnf.fr/jsp/rechercheExperte.jsp
, paste "Français 343" under "Cote" and click "Chercher".). Under the first result (“queste del saint graal ”) see p. 4v (Top illumination, the man with hose of two different colours) and p. 8v (the crowned figures in both halves of the illumination). My thanks to the kind people at the BNF who put this online. I've seen some pictures from this manuscript in print, but not these ones.