This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance
A Dutch Mollen Hood for a Merlin ‘Falco Columbarius’ Known as ‘The Lady’s Hawk’
Leather green felt red wool and chicken feathers
Late 19th Century
Size: approx: 13cm high - 5 ins high
The Merlin is a small species of falcon from the Northern Hemisphere. They are swift and skilled hunters and have for centuries been well regarded as a falconry bird. In medieval Europe the ‘Book of St Albans’ listed the Merlin as ‘the falcon for a Lady’. In the ‘Book of Falconrie’ of 1575 Tuberville praises the merlin… ‘Assuredly, divers of these Merlyns became passing good hawkes and verie skilfull. Their property by nature is to kill Thrushes, Larks and Partridges. They flee with greater fiercenes and more hotely than any other hawke of prey’.
The name Merlin strictly speaking is reserved for the female, the male is spoken of as a ‘jack’. When fit, the merlin is exceptionally strong and courageous and may be flown with some success at wood pigeons. However, the main flight for which they are reserved and for which they are renowned is that at sky larks.