My love for snails, slugs and related imagery is well known, and so I was quite excited this week when a kind friend found this recent British Library blog post about the Knights Vs Snail battles found in Medieval manuscript marginalia. Apparently they are quite common and the subject of fairly lively iconographic debate. As the post states, “There has been much scholarly debate about the significance of these depictions of snail combat. As early as 1850, the magnificently-named bibliophile the Comte de Bastard theorised that a particular marginal image of a snail was intended to represent the Resurrection, since he discovered it in two manuscripts close to miniatures of the Raising of Lazarus. In her famous survey of the subject, Lilian Randall proposed that the snail was a symbol of the Lombards, a group vilified in the early middle ages for treasoMORE
I have made a new short move-y only 3 minutes long. You can see it on Vimeo here.
The slug is often synonymous with disgust and repulsion, the adjective ‘sluggish’ also implies a stodgy inertia. The word slug refers to many types of terrestrial gastropod molluscs, slugs while similar in appearance (being shell-less and moving through rhythmic muscular contraction) range widely over many Genii and even Orders within the Class Gastropoda, (if you need a taxonomy refresher biological classification proceeds through the ranks of: kingdom, phylum/division, class, order, family, genus and finally species). I think the little guy I filmed is a European Black Slug, Arion ater. Unlike their shelled counterparts, snails, slugs are not depicted in art very much, they are more amorphous and nondescript – that is not having a fixeMORE
Snail mucus is good for your skin. Face creams containing snail excretions are big business. The secretions contain hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans. Manufacturers seem to keep large numbers of snails in a metal mesh cage, flushing out with water to collect the slime. Now you can have a snail facial where they slide gracefully over your face, effortlessly hugging the curves of your cheeks and neck, applying their clear balm with slow and gentle strokes. On Rye lane several grocers have large cardboard containers of snails, huge, palm sized ones with comically enlarged shells. These are for eating, I don’t know if they are alive, the little hardened foot is drawn up hard into the shell shutting the door.
I like the mouths of snails, they remind me of rabbits nibbling.
My wise and lovely friend Teri Hoskin sent me this image from – Bruck, Jacobus à;MORE