Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ear, Ear, Ear

Photo: Chris Chapman
My colleagues got a bit of a zoology lesson last week when I  told them that hares and rabbits are not related in any shape or form but entirely different species.   Some of them were as surprised as I was when I found out. With the joint characteristics of those pointy ears and fluffy tails it's easy to see how the mix up came about.

I've just come across the 'Tinner's Rabbit's' wonderful symbol that repeats itself around Devon, in stained glass and most frequently carved in the bosses of church roofs.  Yet they're not restricted to these parts.  A German Riddle describes 'Three hares sharing three ears, yet everyone of them has two'.  A Bavarian town uses the symbol as part of it's town crest.  Now that's got to be better than a couple of wavy lines and a few swords.  If you read the Wiki article it seems that these interconnected creatures can be found in ancient sights much further afield.

There's a trail that takes in seventeen churches where the hares/rabbits can be spotted.  Now that looks like something that me and Louis could do.  And local artist Chris Chapman must have cricked his neck taking photographs of all those fine roofs.  I'm very taken by the imagery.  Perhaps I now have an idea for my next linocut.




5 comments:

  1. How lovely- thanks for this great post. Now trying to work out how I can travel from Dorset to Devon and visit some of these fine carvings! Blessings!

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  2. I've got a triple hare on my wall at home!
    Arilx

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    1. You might have another one when I've finished my lino cutting! x

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  3. Brown Hares are native, Rabbits are a Roman import.

    That is a lovely image.

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    1. Now I've learnt something as well!

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