A Charlemagne what?!?

Look carefully at the picture below:

Charlemagne, A. Dürer, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg

Keep that image in mind.

Back in June, my folks and I stopped at an Autohof on one of the Autobahns. These are combination restaurants, convenience stores, coffee-shops, sometimes gas stations, news-stands, play-grounds, and always, places to use the restrooms.

I had gotten something to drink and was on the way out the door when I saw this:

Charlemagne Rubber Duckie—All Arguments are Invalid!

The full Dürer portrait.

Ente der Größe

And the history nerd in me grabbed it. They have all kinds of rubber duck collectibles in the Autohof displays, but I have never seen Charlemagne Duck before, and I didn’t see another one the rest of the trip. The little tag says his name is Karl (Charles).

A rubber duckie version of Karl der Große from a painting by Dürer. And I recognized it at first glance, which probably means I have spent far too much time in the very early Middle Ages this past year or so.

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18 thoughts on “A Charlemagne what?!?

  1. Startling. Had the duck’s eye focused slightly to its right, I’d say a frightening resemblance. However, where is the sword? That was an intriguing toy or collectible to find, all things considered. I hope the gratuitous Saxon violence is properly focused, this time.

    Ah, the late medieval painting is why France is appended sinister, as property of the HRE and subordinate to the Black Eagle.

    • I didn’t show the other side of the duck. It is holding the sword’s hilt, with the sword hanging from the belt.

      Correct. At the time Dürer painted the image, the Holy Roman Emperor outranked the kings of France when he acted as emperor. When he acted as king of the Germans, they were equals. I know, try telling that to Francis I and Charles V/I [V of Empire, I of Spain].

  2. There’s a blogger by the handle of Wonderduck that may be interested in hearing about that.

    • Yup. This is right down his alley.

      There are a few Euro companies that make hundreds of different collectible rubber duckies, and there are even rubber duck stores.

  3. One Halloween, one of the women in our office gave me a “Count Duckula” rubber ducky. Treasure it to this day.

  4. Sigh… Just proof you CAN find damn near anything in those shops… 🙂 And that one probably got put up for now…LOL

  5. Pingback: If It Looks Like a Duck … | hogewash

  6. What do you call a duck born on the 4th of July……..a fire quacker!!!!

    Steve
    Sorry, blame it on being a g’pa to an 8 year old!

  7. I guess it was inevitable that one day a blog on the World Wide Web’d feature this.

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