Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Two More Tewkesbury Angels

A couple more angels from the set in Tewkesbury Abbey: one playing a drum or timbrel, the other swinging a censer. The drummer is far gone, the thurifer has a lovely smile.

Wikipedia has 84 pages under the general heading "Hand Drum"- because there are at least that many variants. I'm calling this a timbrel (a) because it seems to have jangles fixed to its frame like a modern tambourine and (b) because the word is Biblical.

A lot of late medieval angels have sweet, closed-lip smiles. Leonardo adopted it and gave it to the Mona Lisa (among others). Until quite recently it was considered vulgar to show your teeth- and the only people in western art who do so are peasants and demons and persons in extremis. The film star grin came in with the twentieth century- and the advent of modern dentistry.
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