These pieces of hunting equipment served the holders of certain court offices as badges of dignity. The ruler entrusted members of his court of outstanding merit with responsibility for various court offices, positions that were connected with privileges and income and that guaranteed the smooth functioning of the complex organisation of the court. Over the course of the Middle Ages, these high offices became increasingly hereditary, while the daily business of running the court was assumed by officials. Only for specific ceremonies - especially that of the hereditary homage - did holders of the hereditary offices appeared at court . The falconer's equipment that has been preserved in the Treasury was probably made for the hereditary homage of the estates of Lower Austria to Ferdinand I of Austria (1793-1875), which was held in Vienna in 1835. The falcon lure (used to get the falcon to return to the falconer), the hoods and pouch were the attributes of the grand master falconer, a hereditary position that was created in 1705 on the occasion of the hereditary homage to Emperor Joseph I (1678-1711). The hereditary position of grand master of the hunt had already been created by Duke Rudolf IV (1339-1365). Among its attributes were a hunting horn and knife as well as a bloodhound, wearing an embroidered dog-collar, that the grand master kept on a greenish-gold silk lead during the ceremony of hereditary homage. The ceremonial prescribed that the holders of these two hereditary offices wear green hunting clothing. However, because the hereditary homage to the new ruler usually took place during the mourning period for the late regent, the holders of hereditary offices had to appear - like all the other participants - in black. This prescription apparently did not apply, however, to the attributes they had with them.
Leder, Samt, Goldborten, Seide, vergoldetes Silber, Federn
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer, WS XIV 36 und andere
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