A question was asked on Mudcat (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?thread ... essages=17)(a music website) about a reference in a 12th/13th Century Occitan romance about King Arthur.
The question is specifically about the apple wand as a symbol of authority – not linked to the bardic symbolism – Sir Kay was Seneschal not Bard.“Sir Kay (here known as Queu) enters the scene holding a baton or wand which, it is said, he has fashioned from an apple bough as a sign of his authority.
At the moment I'm drawing a complete blank as to (a) where this particular symbol might have come from and (b) where else it might turn up. I know that in Irish and Welsh mythology the apple bough (often with silver bells) can be used as a way to enter the Other World or a way to sleep. I know that apples occur fairly regularly in myths and legends. But an apple baton or wand as a sign of authority? Given the provenance of this story the influences might be Arabic, French, Spanish, Welsh, Breton or Latin ...but on the other hand I have an open mind.
If anyone can shed any light on this I'd be very grateful!”
One response on Mudcat suggested
which might be relevant but (a)whether the Brehon Laws were well known outside of Ireland and possibly Wales (e.g. similarities with Cyfraith Hywel) and (b)whether the Ogham connection really exists (or was constructed by Graves) and, if it does, whether Ogham was known outside Brythonic and Irish regions is another matter.“As a sign of authority, it may be that he's carrying it because it is one of the seven 'chieftan' trees (the felling of which carried the death penalty). It may be that it is associated with his name, Queu, as it stands for Q or Quert in the Ogham alphabet.”
Still I thought it was an interesting puzzle – any ideas I can pass on?