The mute swans which live on the moat of the Bishops Palace, Wells, England were taught by the daughter of a Victorian bishop to ring a bell to ask for bread. Over the generations the swans taught each other that by pulling a string attached to a bell on the side of the drawbridge entrance, they will attract the attention of the lodge keeper. It is thought that Villard de Honnecourt, the artist who did the drawing on which this graceful swan is based, may have been an itinerant master-builder of Picardy in northern France. A surviving portfolio of thirty three sheets of parchment (animal skin) contains about 250 drawings from about the 1230s, which is in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (MS Fr 19093). The portfolio contains architectural plans together with beautiful, accurate drawings of mechanical devices and figures suitable for sculpture. This decorative wall hanging makes a lovely souvenir of Wells, and as such has travelled over the world.
Fixing Points: One hole: just behind the swan's neck
Dimensions: 10.5cm x 10.2cm