Saturday, March 12, 2016

The newfound ring of Joan of Arc: publicity stunt or true relic? – Point

Joan of Arc, she knows everything, almost. Author of an excellent biography of an intelligent book about the myths around the Maid ( Joan of Arc, legends and truths , Perrin editions), Colette Beaune, emeritus professor of medieval history at the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre, looks away this new discovery makes the buzz: the Puy du Fou has acquired nearly 380,000 euros a ring presented as that of Joan of Arc, to the term exposure to the heart of the leisure park. If this ring is authentic, it is a sensational object: there is nothing of the Maid of Orleans, who drove the English territory in the fifteenth century and restored royal power in a divided country. The object will have the same relic value for Catholics, since Joan of Arc was sanctified in 1920. But for now, there is no evidence that it is a sacred ring .. . Meanwhile, the Puy du Fou has offered a beautiful stunt

the the ring recently purchased by the Puy du Fou she could belong to Joan of Arc

Colette Beaune: Perhaps, but it is not safe at all. We know there is a ring of the fifteenth century, silver coated with gold, a protective ring as it was in at the time, with engraved on it “Jesus Maria.” We also know that Joan of Arc had such a ring with the same inscription, offered by his father, who was a rather rich peasant. The problem is that there were three crosses on his own, then there is only on one side, with the other “M” engraved, probably later. One knows the existence of this ring because it is mentioned several times in his cause: it is believed to have magical powers, that of preventing the future, to bring victory … It is to blame any price Jeanne d’Arc witchcraft.

It is therefore an exhibit in some way?

no, because it does the already over for trial! The fantasy tribunal, talking about a subject he has not seen, requires descriptions. The ring was recovered by the Burgundians, who sold Jeanne to their English allies in 1430. What becomes of it then? That is the difficulty, it must be able to trace its path. According to the documents, we know that the ring has always been part of the private collection of the Duke of Portland until the early twentieth century. How Does the family had? Either by the Archbishop of Winchester, who was at Rouen at trial, and that would eventually get their hands on the object. Or more likely by the King of England himself, who would have acquired directly from the Burgundians …

How to be sure to have on hand the true ring of Joan of arc?

It should be left to the historians of the time! We are more specialists to receive documents from the Puy du Fou to give an opinion, but it is incomplete. It is appropriate to study the archives of Portland, see how the ring is mentioned in various legacy. From the twentieth century, it’s easier, because traceability is best known through sales and exhibitions. But we must study the catalogs, see how the ring is presented in sales, the amount of insurance taken … The British company that comes from the auction was presented as a ring “associated with Joan of Arc” this is not quite the same as a ring that belonged to Joan of Arc. We must therefore begin extensive research … Not whether we will have an answer in the end. We put a bit cart before the horse in this story!

To complicate the matter, there are several rings of Joan of Arc …

She had three rings. That we talked about, plus a ring given by her brother and a gold ring. She wears the ring his brother to trial, it takes it, she claims, and finally said it to be given to the Church. It is not known what she has become. The gold ring is quoted in the letter to one of his companions: she wants to be deliver to the widow of the great fighter Duguesclin. This jewel has also disappeared.

we Knows other objects that belonged to the Maid?

No, it was unwise to leave anything her. It was a political will of the British, who considered at the time as a witch. No relic, burning everything to avoid worship. Some objects were yet in circulation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, before disappearing. It appears regularly every 4 or 5 years, whimsical objects, often made in the nineteenth century. There are a few years, I was asked to authenticate the remains in a jar, in Chinon, presented as relics of Joan of Arc: they were Egyptian mummy tips! The only thing that we have it, it’s a dozen letters she dictated because she could neither read nor write. But she had a phenomenal memory.

Why it fascinates yet?

Because it is a special character. A peasant girl, born of the people from below, which will upset the military and political situation, as this role is normally reserved for powerful princes, those above. She died at 20, burned, which is enough to dampen spirits …


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