Thank you, Hugh, for inviting us to post pictures of Hats for this week’s Hugh’s Photo Challenge .


court jester doll

Wee ‘Jes ©HelenBushe (I rescued him from between a butter dish and a cruet set on a shelf in a charity shop)


Jester with Troubadour

Jester with Ukulele ©HelenBushe


When I found these images tonight I just had to Google Jesters. So, thank you, Hugh, if it hadn’t been for your challenge I’d never have lost myself in the history of Jesters, Fools, Buffoons, Clowns, Dunces and all the other variations on the theme.  I’ve learned that jesters were popular in Ancient Egypt and entertained the Pharaohs. Jesters were also popular with the Aztecs in the 14th to 16th centuries.

King Charles the First employed a very small jester to jump out of a giant pie.

I’ve followed links to Japanese male Geishas and, nearer home, to Punch and Judy.

The court jester is a universal phenomenon. He crops up in every court worth its salt in medieval and Renaissance Europe, in China, India, Japan, Russia, America and Africa. A cavalcade of jesters tumble across centuries and continents, and one could circle the globe tracing their footsteps. But to China the laurels. China has undoubtedly the longest, richest, and most thoroughly documented history of court jesters. From Twisty Pole and Baldy Chunyu to Moving Bucket and Newly Polished Mirror, it boasts perhaps more of the brightest stars in the jester firmament than any other country, spanning a far wider segment of time. (Fooling Around the World)

And this did surprise me:

The last British nobles to keep jesters were the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons. (wikipedia)

I’m going to read about Harlequins and Troubadours now………


Marga Demmers · 8 May 2016 at 10:35

What a terrific find this Wee ‘Jes, I would have made him mine too. If you find something more about the Queen Mother’s jester, please share the information with us, because I find it interesting too. And there’s another question: what is the relationship with jesters, harlequins and the clowns as we know them nowadays? Confession: I love to do clowning now and then when I feel like it, even did some courses!

    HMB · 8 May 2016 at 20:09

    Yes, I want to find out more about this too. I love that you’ve done courses in clowning! Good for you!

Hugh's Views and News · 7 May 2016 at 09:17

What a great find, Helen. Unbelievable that The Queen Mother’s family had a court jester. I always associated them with medieval times. And to hear China had them as well. That’s something I’ve learned today.

    HMB · 7 May 2016 at 19:52

    Thanks Hugh. I want to find out more about the Queen Mother’s jester. Like, how did he dress? How many hours a day did he work? What happened if he wasn’t funny?

      Hugh's Views and News · 8 May 2016 at 08:51

      I just hope it was not a case of “off with his head.” Which leads me to wonder if there are/were female jesters?

        HMB · 8 May 2016 at 20:04

        Yes, I was wondering that too. Further investigation required.

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

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