27 January 2015

In recovery: English double-headed eagles

The Luttrell Psalter was created between 1320 and 1340, at the commission of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, lord of the Manor of Irnham in Lincolnshire. It is full of wonderful images which include the best dragon ever painted, and amazingly detailed pictures of daily life.

What I want to know is: Why did Sir Geoffrey want – did he want it or did the artist want it? – this painting with double-headed eagles? These look like imperial-central European eagles, and the double-headed eagle was also an emblem of the Hanseatic league.  Does the coach indicates a visit by central European royalty via the Baltic and North Seas to the Hanseatic port of Boston on the English coast (27 miles from the Luttrells), and then a Luttrell escort to London.

Can some reader answer this question?


  1. Maybe I'm just being unobservant, but I don't see any double-headed eagle.

    Do you mean the strange creature at the top left of the page with an orange eagle's head?

  2. Twelve double eagles along the bottom of the wagon


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