You might be surprised at how many Renaissance portraits worked in a creature from the mustelid family, which includes weasels, minks, ermines, martens, stoats, and ferrets. Yes, some of the subjects wore them as furs, complete with head and feet, as was the style once. But others are pictured carrying the critters as pets, or being annoyed by one. We can assume that the weasels did not sit for the painter. Such a portrait was considered a fine wedding gift, to portend prosperity and fertility. The weasel could mean a variety of things, mostly having to do with sex and fertility, from purity to pregnancy. Read the different ways weasels in portraits can be interpreted at The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things. -via Boing Boing
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