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brooches-lnks - 4/2/05


A set of web links to information on medieval Chatelaines and Brooches by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: finger-rings-msg, jewelry-msg, ear-rings-msg, combs-info-art, amber-msg, pearls-msg, gem-sources-msg, finger-rings-lnks.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: aoife at scatoday.net

Subject: [Aoife-Links] Chatelaines and Brooches

Date: March 31, 2005 6:34:08 PM CST

To: aoife-links at scatoday.net


Greetings, my Faithful Readers!


This week's Links subject is Chatelaines (the jewelry-and-keychain variety) and brooches. Imagine what sort of confusion you'd find if you were using a search engine and entered the words "medieval" and "chatelaine". I'm sure you'll all be relieved to know that the future of the SCA is secure in that wonderful office we call Chatelaine, however this links list is about medieval jewelry, not newcomers. Specifically, the type of jewelry that holds your clothes together, that carries your needle case, mini-snips, etc. and the sort you pin to your shert for decoration.  Surprisingly, in doing this research I learned that the pin chatelaine dates to Roman times, and that nearly every one of us medieval females who claim to run a house should have one of simpler or more complex design, depending upon the date of our personae. Apparently, earlier on men also wore them (sometimes to carry a dagger as well as keys), and a chatelaine was a perfect wedding present, the token of a man's trust in his new wife.


If you enjoy these Links, please pass them along where they will be appreciated.






A Visual and Historical Perspective on "Purses" and "Evening Bags ­

the Ever Adaptable Fashion Accessory

by Rita Vainius


(Site Excerpt) Though this purse made by Martina Weber, is not old, it is typical of the type used by the lady of the house many centuries ago. From left to right, it includes a silk Bargello needle holder, a replica of a pewter needle case, a dololly (an accessory to pull the last piece of thread through stitches on the back. Also part of the dololly is a heart pin with a wire loop), a pair of scissors in a pewter case, a silver butterfly pincushion attached to a square brooch, a silver and red velvet charm, an Austrian wear-at-the-belt purse made of metal and an "Emery" strawberry made of red felt containing powder for sharpening and cleaning needles and pins.


Prym-Dritz notions:

Elizabeth's Vintage Notions

Chatelaine and additions



Roman Chatelaine Brooch--extant article



First Massachusetts Cavalry


(See section abut Chatelaines. Site Excerpt) From the old feudal system and on into the early 20th century, the chatelaine, French for "mistress of the castle," was the most important accessory the lady of the house could carry with her in her daily life. The first use of a chatelaine can be traced to Roman times when keys hanging from the waist were a symbol of authority. Jailers often wore keys attached to the girdle of a stout leather belt. The chatelaine was actually first used by the man of the house to carry various tools, from a dagger to keys for the larder where precious meat was stored. In medieval times, a chatelaine became a common wedding present from the husband to his new bride containing the keys to her new home. Early chatelaines were made of steel, and later of finely cast silver or forged brass, and sometimes embellished with fine gemstones. They were suspended by a top chain from a notch or ring in a lady's belt or apron and had several pendant chains ending with hook or clip fasteners, called fittings, to hold the necessary accessories.


Medieval Brooches


Photos of extant articles for sale


Medieval Brooch project (Polymer Clay) Adobe Acrobat required to read


While this site is copy-protected, the project is a credible replica or the original, which is shown.


Bristol City Council: Medieval Ring Brooch



British Museum: Fuller Brooch


British Museum Shop: Medieval-style brooch, a bargain at  10.00



Kingston Down (Liverpool) Medieval Brooch



Knockcast brooch, National Museum of Ireland (scroll down to view)


(Site Excerpt) This brooch may be seen as a more modest example of the larger and more ornate pseudo-penannular brooches of this period and like them, it did not function as a locking device. The broad ring areas of both brooch types seem to have been intended as fields for decoration rather than the functional role of the zoomorphic penannular brooches of the seventh century.


Tara Brooch


(Site Excerpt) Although given the name the Tara Brooch, this Irish national treasure was not found at Tara, but was found at Bettystown, County Meath. The discovery at Bettystown resulted from the collapsing of cliffs due to wave erosion.  A jeweler who studied the brooch is credited with the misnomer.  Given the exquisite nature of the brooch it is not surprising that it was thought to come from Tara, since Tara was the official residence of the High kings of ancient Ireland.



If you wish to correspond with Aoife directly, please send mail to: mtnlion at ptd dot net as she is unable to respond in this account


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org