Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bacino Orseolo - the "Scimier of Justice"

On privately owned gondolas, certain areas tend to carry signature information which can often tell us about the owner of a gondola. One such area is called a "scimier". This decorative piece mounts above the seat-back. It's not a necessary piece of equipment, but many gondolas have one.
This scimier appears to have a gold-painted, carved representation of "Justice", holding scales while a lion looks on. The lion most likely represents Venice, while the "Justice" character is probably the justice of the Republic.

Looking at the aft deck, we see carvings, indicating that she's a wedding gondola.
This is a nice side-by-side photo with the tails of a standard gondola and a wedding gondola.

The owner has added custom cushions and a matching cloth that hangs from the back of the seat. I've often called it a "cape", but drawings I've seen by Gilberto Penzo identify it as a "strasino".
Whatever you call that piece, it looks great on the boat and creates the perfect place to stow things you need to get to during the cruise.

As I mentioned earlier, the scimier can sometimes tell us about the gondolier. Maybe the guy who rows this boat is also a lawyer.
There's got to be a joke in there somewhere.

1 comment:

Tamás said...

The scimier may be related to the famous Giustinian doge family, hence the symbol of Justice?

I'd guess the gondola's owner descends from a family who may have served the Giustinians in the old times?