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jewelry-msg - 9/29/14


Medieval jewelry. Jewelry sources. Men’s earrings. pearls.


NOTE: See also the files: finger-rings-msg, ear-rings-msg, gem-sources-msg, pearls-msg, metalworking-msg, metals-msg. Vkng-Wir-Weav-art, Mk-Vik-Brooch-art, jwlry-soldrng-art.





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: OTZJ at cornella.cit.cornell.EDU (Ken Bender)

Date: 20 Aug 91 20:04:19 GMT


"Medieval" Torcs


   Shortly before the Pennsic War someone claimed to have found

medieval torcs in the National Museum of Ireland.  I find it very

interesting that the Keeper of Medieval Antiquities for the National

Museum of Ireland would not know that he had medieval torcs in the

collection for which he is responsible when queried about them.  That

was the case when I asked him, back in May, if he knew of any

evidence for medieval torcs, whether archaeological or literary.


   Now the recent poster claiming to have found medieval torcs

stated that the torcs dated to the 9th-10th centuries.  I want to

know if this was A.D. or B.C.  Additionally, how were these torcs

dated? By artistic motif, archaeological context, whim?  Without

such evidence you might as well say soda cans were medieval.  Let's

have some proof.


   The fact that the Vikings carried torcs around (and buried

them) in no way implies that they wore them, nor that they were in

use contemporarily.  The Vikings are known for raiding prehistoric

tombs in hopes of finding treasure, and even carved runes boasting

of such activities in Maes Howe on Mainland, Orkney.  Yes, there

are torcs from Viking hoards, but that does not make them an item

of personal ornamentation to anyone; they could have been valued

merely for their weight in precious metal, and have been buried

before they were converted to another form.


   As I've stated in a previous posting, it is certainly feasible

that a medieval Irish person might find a torc from earlier times

while digging peat, etc.  And maybe the thing would have been worn,

but more likely the metal would have been converted into something

more in fashion, perhaps a brooch, a pin, horse tack, whatever.

There are no good historical, archaeological or art historical

sources for the wearing of torcs during the time considered

"period" by the SCA.  Not one.


   Torcs from a museum are not a good source of archaeological

evidence unless they come with find-spot data.  Stray finds don't

count, since they are contextless.  If a museum display claims a

certain date for a piece, let the visitor inquire of the staff of

the museum to determine the source of the date.  Museum staff are

there for a reason, let them help.  Then judge the accuracy; is

this too much to ask?


   If people want to raise some cash by selling replica jewelry

fine, but please can we not be subjected to "replicas" with no

basis in fact, and stick to those perhaps slightly less glamorous,

but documented, pieces of the time and place appropriate?


-Lord Robert of Ferness, Myrkfaelinn



Re: Question on headgear_

Date: 4 Feb 92

From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Josh Mittleman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center


Greetings from Arval!  Jael wrote:

> In several of the pictures I've seen, the ladies' headresses have been a

> simple circle of metal, worn around the forehead.  It's sometimes left plain,

> and other times decorated. I believe that these circlets are the same

> sort of gear worn by those with rank.  Am I thinking of the same thing?

> And will it be a breach of protocol if I attempt to make one of these for

> myself?


It depends on where you are in the SCA.  The simple answer is: Find someone

in your area who has been in the SCA for a few years, and ask if your plans

are OK by local law and custom.


The complete answer is more complicated.  The SCA has a nearly universal

custom that fancy circlets should denote rank, and that particular forms of

circlet should be reserved to particular ranks.  So far as I have been able

to discover, this custom derives from Victorian English heraldic custom,

and from nothing else.  In the Middle Ages, at most times & in most places,

there were no formal standards defining what regalia could be worn by what

rank. There probably were customary coronets for various noble houses, but

we have few records of such.  From circumstantial evidence (paintings,

etc.), it appears that circlets were generally worn only by the higher

nobility and senior court officials, but it is not clear whether this was

because there was some custom that only these nobles should wear circlets,

or simply because no one else could afford to buy similar jewelry.


At a few times and places in medieval Europe, there were formal sumptuary

laws, regulating what one could wear on the basis of ones rank.  I know

very little about the details of those laws.


If you are interested in this question, I recommend that you study

portraits and tapestries from your period.  If you find that people in your

period, in your social class, are wearing circlets, then I think you ought

to be able to wear one.  However, some kingdoms do have laws regulating the

form of circlets, so you should check before spending a lot of money on



Arval Benicoeur, Treblerose Herald                    mittle at watson.ibm.com



From: WJMICHALSKI <wjmichalski at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Chain Mail `jewelery'

Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 00:48:10 -0500


Honour Horne-Jaruk <una at bregeuf.stonemarche.org> writes:

>     Now, mail _armor_ jazzed up to the level of jewelery happenned

>amazingly often- just look at all those Turkish pieces with verses of the

>Koran in glided links!

There is a mail shirt made for one of the Hungarian princes that fits

this bill precisely.  It was made of silver and gilded brass wire, and had

repousse'd metal bits attached to the front.  These were in the shapes of

stars, suns and flowers, some set with precious stones.  The attached

"charms" were arranged to give the impression of wearing a heavy collar

of plates, much like a "Lord Mayor's" style chain.

There is a picture of the shirt in one of Oppi Untracht's books on

jewelry/metalworking, in the section on mail.  (Sorry, I don't remember

the title; he has at least 2 major works in this area.)

As for being in period, the prince for whom this was made lived right across

the SCA time zone.  I've yet to find out when the shirt was actually made.

If I remember correctly, it's in the collection of the Hungarian

National Museum.




From: ayotte at milo.UUCP (Robert Arthur Ayotte)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: A question (sump. law.)

Date: 1 Nov 1994 18:32:35 -0500


In article <383o2r$3ea at panix.com> you wrote:

:   In fact, the very idea that one's jewelry should

: correlate to one's rank is modern in origin.  Sumptuary laws existed in

: period, but they bear very little resemblance to Society laws and customs,

: and existed in only a very small fraction of the range of cultures covered

: by our period.  Personally, I think they are one of the more foolish

: additions to our codes of law.


: Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com


       Interesting point.  First I would point out that there were times

in some cultures where no one but the royal family could wear gold or silver

jewelry (France for a while or two comes to mind, see "7000 Years of Jewelry")


       Also what else can we do but use crowns even if the persona is

from an era without them, so that folks that have never met the king

wll know who is the king when he's at an event.  The Idea of an honor

guard with banners is neat, but not always possible.  Now at Pennsic

it might be very cool for the King to have a personal guard that goes with

him everywhere, all in very spiffy outfits of course, and with all the

banners and bravado.  Still would make it difficult to take a walk down

merchant row I guess.


       Add to that most of the coronets and crowns that ARE seen on the

heads of our royalty and such that wear them, you would have only have

caught someone dead wearing in period.  Most of the SCA regalia I have

seen comes from burial examples.  Do you think that they burried folks

with the crown jewels?  Nope.

       So, the sumptuary laws are a SCA thing.  That is OK since so much

of what we do mixes too many cultures to have customs that apply everywhere,

and we do need things to work for the here and now (and a way to keep

everyone from putting a crown on their heads which would be most distracting).


       Lord Twining's book "The Crown Jewels of Europe" would be a good

place to start when looking into reproducing regalia appropriate to living

folks. It's most likely the most comprehensive source there is.


       I just wish more folks would have correct from some period

jewelry. Some do, and some find the most remarkable stuff in modern

stores that's almost right out of digs.  Still there's much that does

not pass any criteria for period metalworks, take a look at most of the

crowns (I know of several of the Midrealms) that at best are burial

Crowns. We can do better, and should.

       Rings I often see are over used or fantasy in style, Brooches on

the other hand tend to be much closer to period.  It is rare to see correct

fobs on late period garb, held with strait pins (even I use a safty pin

from the back), or buttons that are not all alike.  I really could go on

but let's just say that as a whole the SCA has not spent much time working

on period jewelry, expecting laws about jewelry to work seems a bit much.


       All that said, I have seen some wonderful period looking jewelry

used, and I have met enough who refrain from using jewelry because they

can't find things appropriate to their dress and period.  So both sides

of the spectrum are here, and that's ok.  IT does make life more interesting.


Horace of Northshield



From: habura at vccnw08.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Authenticity Police- Myth or Menace?

Date: 9 Dec 1994 13:56:58 GMT

Organization: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY


On Cariadoc's post: Yes, indeed, fake gems are authentic for many times

and places. (I have a few records of sumptuary laws from Edward III of

England's reign....artificial gems were allowed for the King's family,

*but not for anyone else*.) Speaking of which: If anyone has a source for

those little mirrors found on some Indian clothing, please tell me. From

what I've been able to tell, they're reasonably good replicas of a 14th

c. artificial gem called a "doublet" in England.


Alison MacDermot

*Ex Ungue Leonem*



From: phefner at aol.com (PHefner)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Authenticity Police- Myth or Menace?

Date: 8 Dec 1994 23:55:11 -0500


zkessin at ppp3253.wing.net (Zach) writes:

Guiliame asked if glass faux jewels are period, if not earlier. The

Egyptians used faience (sp?) beads. Their jewelers went after color

variety, not glitter, as in light refraction. The Romans started the use

of amber, and we all know that that's not exactly a rare gem. I'm sure we

could come up with all sorts of cheapo-stuff that was used for jewelry at

any time and at any place. ---Isabelle



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: "Authenticity" done on the cheap

From: una at bregeuf.stonemarche.org (Honour Horne-Jaruk)

Date: Sat, 10 Dec 94 03:35:44 EST


zkessin at ppp3253.wing.net (Zach) writes:

>    "I'm talking about stuff like Austrian lead crystal, which is not

>    period, but who has the money to go out and spend $100 a piece on

>    real jewels for court dress? Not me!" ----Isabelle de Foix


>    I don't know about Austrian lead crystal, but fake gemstones are not

>    only period, but common--all the way back to egyptian times.

> Wouldn't glass beads have been very expensive in period too?


> Guiliam


      "Ahem" she says modestly, trying to be informative while not sounding

like an advertisement....

      Maison Rive, which I run, and Cabochons, which (Thank God) I don't

run, both sell researched, documented glass copies of medieval/renaissance

glass `jewels', some of which come fromn the same factories in Venice that

made the original fakes a thousand years (or so) ago...

      There are authentic fakes out there. Try Pennsic, Birka, and possibly

the 30yr celebration.

                        Honour/Una/Alizaunde   }:->


                                       (Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk R.S.F.

                               Alizaunde, Demoiselle de Bregeuf C.O.L. SCA

                               Una Wicca



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ua923 at freenet.Victoria.BC.CA (Mark Shier)

Subject: Re: info on jewelry,beadwork or craft

Organization: Victoria Freenet Association

Date: Tue, 28 Feb 1995 19:14:20 GMT


There are many other excellent books and articles on period

jewellery, such as the Lightbown book "Medieval European Jewellery".

      It helps to know what period you are interested in. I

have an extensive library of books and articles on period

jewellery and metalwork. Please email me for more information.

      There is one other way to learn about medieval jewellery.

It is possible to purchase legally exported and excavated pieces

and examine them oneself. Try Relic, who advertises in TI once

in a while, or email me. I use period pieces from my collection

to help me make better modern medieval pieces.

                  Master Mark der Gaukler


Gaukler Medieval Wares- period jewellery and metalwork.

Celtic,Norse, Fourteenth Century, Anglo-Saxon, Avar, Scythian,

Gothic and Visigothic, Roman, etc.



From: dorianjhmr at aol.com (DorianJhmr)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Thor's Hammers and Celtic Crosses

Date: 17 May 1995 03:52:25 -0400


An excellent source of Thor's hammers and Celtic crosses is Museum

Replicas Limited ( a division of Atlantic Cutlery) You can call them at

1-800-883-8838 and ask for a catalog. It's free, and they have excellent

quality, I have ordered many items from them and have always been



Hope it helps.

Dorian Jarlshammer


Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Cheapside Hoard

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 03:17:06 GMT


foxd at silver.ucs.indiana.edu (daniel fox) wrote:

> Does anyone know any detailed sources on the Cheapside Hoard--the

> cache of Elizabethan junk jewellry that was excavated a while back?


I don't. It is in the Museum of London, so they are the most likely source,

and items from it appear in some publications, but I have not seen (and

would like to see) a detailed source.


If that is junk jewelry, what do you classify as real jewelry--those gawdy

gewgaws in the tower? The cheapside horde appears to be largely enamelled

gold, set with very real gemstones. It even has the only definitely period

precious opal I have ever seen.



DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu



From: Brenda <blhunter at mtholyoke.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: history of jewelry books?

Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 20:01:08 -0500

Organization: Mount Holyoke College


> On behalf of a mundane friend, I'm tossing out this question: What

> (is)(are) good history of jewelry books? Preferably mid- to late-

> period (i.e., post 1000 AD), and preferably western Europe (not

> Arabic, Rus, or Oriental)?


> Alban


Medieval European Jewelry, by Ronald W. Lightbrown, published by the

      Victoria and Albert Museum in England.  It costs between $150 and

      $200 but it is the best I have ever seen.  It has the most detail,

      documentation, and good pictures (both color and B&W).  It lacks

      one thing -- no rings covered in the book.


There's another on that has "7,000 Years" in the title.  It's currently

       in print.  It's good and has some things the other book doesn't

      such as amulets and magical rings, etc.


The History of Jewelry is also a good book, published by Dover Publishing

      and is widely available.


      These are the three I would take with me if the house was burning



Brianna -- Crafty Fox Artworks



From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Byzantine beadwork--???

Date: 16 May 1996 00:34:57 GMT


sindara at pobox.com (Sharon R. Saroff) wrote:

> I find it hard that Amethyst was so rare during our time period. I

> have been researching the folklore of gems for the last four years and

> have seen numerous reference to the amethyst for curing or dealing

> with various ailments. Also I have found mention of Cat's Eye in

> period under the name of crysoberyl. It is a very prominent stone to

> the Hindu's and other peoples who dwell in that part of the world.


> Sindara


Cat's eye and tiger eye are entirely different things. Tiger eye is

quartz--specifically, quartz that has replaced asbestos and retained its

fibrous structure--petrified asbestos. "Cat's eye," strictly speaking, is

a phenomenon (like the "star" in star sapphire etc.)--an apparent pool of

light in the middle of a stone. Cat's eye chrysoberyl is the standard

example of a stone exhibiting the cat's eye phenomenon, so is often

referred to as "Cat's eye." Alexandrite, incidentally, is also a variety

of chrysoberyl. Both cat's eye chrysoberyl and alexandrite, incidentally,

are much rarer and more expensive than tiger eye--sold by the carat, not

the pound.


With regard to amethyst, by "rare" I didn't mean "almost unheard of;" it

was one of the well known gemstones and routinely shows up in the period

lapidaries and in surviving pieces. I meant that it was rare enough to be

an expensive stone--much less expensive than diamond or ruby or sapphire

or emerald, but a lot more than agate or rock crystal.


I have not yet found anything to confirm my memory that the price of

amethyst was originally brought down by Russian discoveries, beyond one

comment that Siberia is the best source of high quality amethyst. But I'll

keep looking.




ddfr at best.com



From: clare at cs.auckland.ac.nz (Clare West)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: circlets and crowns

Date: 27 Jun 1996 03:47:02 GMT

Organization: University of Auckland


sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark) writes:

> thus demonstrating their prosperity.  Period sumptuary laws were

> *supposed* to keep folks from spending lavishly, and encourage the traits

> of modesty and humility.  (Of course, they backfired....)


While I am sure you are in general correct, I was interested to read a

little while ago in _Fashion in the Age of the Black Pince_ by Stella

M. Newton the following tidbit on page 36:


"Before 1355, the demand for conspiciously expensive decorated clothing

had become so great that, in France, a set of statues was drawn up in

the August of that year, regulated the practices of the goldsmiths of

Paris. The _Statuts des Orfevres de la Ville de Paris_ state clearly

that. apart from exceptional cercumstances such as the decoration

of tomb in churches, goldsmiths were permitted to work in no other

metals than pure gold and pure silver, and that pure gold must mean

19 1/5 carats. There follows a prohibition on the placing of coloured

foils beneath amethysts, garnets, rubies and emeralds to heighten their

colour. Neither was any goldsmith permitted to use, in any work of gold

or silver, Scottish pearls in place of pearls of the Orient, except for

work for the Church; or together with stones designated as _etranges_

(probably what would now be called semi-precious stones). There was

to be no mixing in of glass ornaments with garnets or other precious

stones, and no cutting of crystal to resemble diamonds. No 'doublets'

(coloured foils sandwiched between two pieces of glass) were to be set

in gold except for the king, the queen or their children."


It goes on a bit more, but I'm tired of typing. I think this regulation

may have had two purposes, but this is entirely speculation on my

part. Firstly it ensures that people are not cheated by goldsmiths, and

secondly it ensures that the only people who may have "costume" jewelery

are the church and the crown.




clare at cs.auckland.ac.nz                              OWotRFA




From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: circlets and crowns

Date: 27 Jun 1996 13:26:14 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC


Greetings from Arval!  Clare West posted:

> _Fashion in the Age of the Black Pince_ by Stella M. Newton the following

> tidbit on page 36:


Fascinating excerpt.  Thank you.


> Firstly it ensures that people are not cheated by goldsmiths, and

> secondly it ensures that the only people who may have "costume" jewelery

> are the church and the crown.


Since real jewelry was very expensive, this would have the effect of

preventing any but the extremely rich to look extremely rich.  The king and

the church were exempted, I assume, because it was deemed proper for them

to look as glorious as they wished.


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: Rick Shimkets <quartz at pantheon.yale.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Where to get the gems for the garb

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 01:16:47 -0500

Organization: Yale University


An excellent new web site for gems, jewelry and antiquities is


Lots of lab-grown rubies and such for affordable crowns and scepters!



From: barbanis at VNET.IBM.COM (George Barbanis)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Glass beads for Byzantine garb

Date: 7 Jan 1997 04:57:31 -0500


'Twas written:

:I'm from Meridies and when I was looking for beads for my Byzantine,

:somebody told me the closest place to find "fake" cabachons was someplace

:in New Hampshire.  I went ahead and used the glass beads from the local

:dancewear store. Period? I'm afraid not, but it's affordable. ---Isabell


At the coronation of emperor Ioannes (John) Cantacuzenus and Irene,

due to the poor finances of the empire at the time, they actually used

glass beads in lieu of real gems.  Unfortunately I do not have any

documentation on this, just a stray fact that came to mind when reading

the original post.  So, glass beads may not be very regal or sumptuous,

but they have been used in period.


Alexios Macedon

barbanis at hol.gr




From: DDFr at Best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: period gems

Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 17:46:32 -0800

Organization: School of Law, Santa Clara University


kkeeler at unlinfo.unl.edu (kathleen keeler) wrote:


> I have been working with the Medieval Lapidaries (Early English Text

> Society, 1933) and wondered if anyone knew a source that matched the

> gems in the Lapidaries with modern names, or conversely, what source

> the authors used for the names under which they grouped the names

> from the lapidaries.


I give a list of possible correspondences in my article on gemstones in

T.I. long ago, reprinted in the Miscellany and available on the web

(http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/miscellany.html). My main source (I

think I give the reference in the article) was a translation of Pliny's

discussion of gemstones, annotated by someone well informed on gemstones.





Date: Sun, 04 May 1997 14:15:13 -0700

From: Eric & Lissa McCollum <ericmc at primenet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wire wrapping


Janine Goldman-Pach wrote:

> I am interest in beading and wire wrapping, in particular.  Can anyone

> suggest some sources for period wire wrapping?  More importantly, is it

> period?


> Inui


I have several sources for beading (and would be interested

in learning of yours). Wire wrapping is a bit more scarce in

my collection, but I suggest looking up the book "Dress

Accessories" by Geoff Egan and Frances Pritchard, published

by the Muewum of London. The ISBN is 0 11 290444 0.


It shows several wire broaches, and wire rings. Here is a quote:


"Wire jewellery came back into vogue in England during the

14th century coinciding with the increased output of drawn

wire. Finger rings were made from wire with a narrow guage

in contrast to the chunky finger rings made from plaited

and twisted wire that are common in the Viking period and

which occur in England as late as the 1170s on the evidnce

of a ring in the Lark Hill Hord. A finger ring made from a

short length of brass wire coiled round five times was

recovered from a late 13th or early 14th century deposit in

London. Both ends were twisted under and over the previous

coils to bind them together and to add a decorative finish.

Although this was an extremely simple method by which to

produce a finger ring, it is not a solitary example. Another

in the collection of the museum of London is made from two

wires twisted together in opposing directions and finished

with an imitation oval bezel, and even a pin could be used,

the head substitueded for a stone."


Hope this helps. It is an incredible book!


Gwendolen Wold



Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 11:50:10 -0400

From: Margo Lynn Hablutzel <Hablutzel at compuserve.com>

To: A&S List <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Greek Jewelry Site


>From Calontir List, from Tavern Yard, from costumers list......


Date:    Fri, 16 May 1997 23:15:15 -0500

From:    Chris Mina <cmina at GVI.NET>

Subject: [Fwd: [TY] FW: 5000 years of Greek Jewellery]


From: Rebecca LeDock <ral at avana.net>

To: "'Tavern Yard'" <meridies at web.ce.utk.edu>

Subject: [TY] FW: 5000 years of Greek Jewellery

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 21:24:30 -0400


Forwarded from the H-costume list - I haven't looked at this yet.


Rebecca of Twywn

Gwasanaethu yn dawel



I have just discovered an excellent jewellery site called 'Greek Jewellery

- 5000 years':




It has numerous color pictures and at least 60 pages of text.  This is a

good resource for historical costumers, and provides a good compilation of

primary sources.


Enjoy! (No commerical interest)



Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 23:26:20 -0500 (CDT)

From: timbeck at ix.netcom.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Looking for _A Choice of Emblems_


If anyone could help I am looking for a reprint of Geffrey Whitney's _A Choice of Emblems_ (1596?)  From what I have seen of it, this looks like a great source for designs for jewelry, needlework, etc. in the Tudor/Elizabethan styles.  Amazon has it listed but it is out of print/ unavailable.  Any help would be appreciated.





Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 23:40:17 -0500 (CDT)

From: timbeck at ix.netcom.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: A Choice of Emblems


Well darn it if I didn't track down a source myself.  it is at www.mun.ca/alciato/wcomm.html


I would still like a hard copy of the whole thing though.





Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 15:53:50 -0500

From: Tim Weitzel <wcrobert at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu


Ok, sorry this is very late, and is in response to a post made way back by

Alban, but here is a very short list of mail-order jewlery suppliers for

soft metal in sheets and casting grain, equipment and tools, glass and

stones, etc.:


Bartlett & Company Incorporated Jwlrs Tools

67 E Madison St, Chicago, IL 60603-3014



TSI, inc.

101 Nickerson St.

P.O. Box 9266

Seatle, WA 98109



Rio Grande

7500 Bluewater NW

Albuquerque, NM 87121-1962


For information or to place an order call:

800-545-6566 from the USA

800-253-9738 from Canada, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico

95-800-253-9738 from Mexico

800-645-4859 - 24 hour FAX

E-mail us at: Bluegem at RioGrande.com




Ulrich Haugenaer and Nazar Druzhinin, and Myself have all used TSI.  Most

of the first Calontir coins were made from materials at Barlett & Co. or

American Metal Craft.  Gillian de Ravalry (sp?) and Nazar Druzhinin have

ordered from Rio Grand with good results.


Tryffin ap Myrddin

Shadowdale, Calontir



Subject: Some Useful Links Pages for Metalworkers and Jewelers

Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 22:47:55 -0400

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Organization: Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia, and the GDH

To: Oedred at ptialaska.net


A Few of the more important pages:


Arts Resources Page:



Deja News - Rec Crafts:



Technical Books Sellers:


Linden   http://www.lindenpub.com/

Lindsay (Wow!) http://www.keynet.net/~lindsay/

Powell's Technical Books




United Artworks http://users.lanminds.com/~drewid/

Bob's Rock Shop Links http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/table.html

Jewelry Related Links http://www.goldwerx.nu/jewlks.htm

Society of American Silversmiths http://www.silversmithing.com/

Ganoskin Http://www.ganoksin.com/

Links for the Metalworking Jeweler:


Rec.Crafts.Jewelry FAQ: http://www.goldwerx.nu/rcj.htm

  second edition: http://www.sparrowarts.com/rcj.FAQ


Medieval Jewelry:

Bodgit and Bendit: http://www.ftech.net./%7Eregia/bodgbend.htm

Master Walthari's Page: http://www.signetring.com/

AngloSaxon and Viking Metalwork:


Drachenstein Treasures: HTTP://www.ne.infi.net/~fcderosa/

History of Jewelry Links: http://www.costumes.org/pages/jewelink.htm

Viking Age Art and Artifacts: http://www.eskimo.com/~revoke/

Celtic Torcs http://www.ancientcircles.com/opencircle/torcs.html

Peter Stone Celtic Jewelry: http://www.peterstone.com/

Thor's Hammers: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hammerpix.html

Turm - Viking Jewels: http://www.turm.dk/uk-default.htm

Treasures Index, Swedish Historical Museum:


Hunterian Museum: http://www.gla.ac.uk/Museum/HuntMus/vikings/index.html


Metalsmithing Suppliers:


Metalworking Jeweler: http://www.loganact.com/mwn/mwj.html

Guild of Metalsmiths: http://www.metalsmith.org/

ABANA: http://www.abana.org/

Blacksmiths' Virtual Junkyard: http://www.seanet.com/~neilwin/

Home Shop Metal Club: http://web.wt.net/%7Egeotek/hmsc/index.htm

Metal Web News: http://www.mindspring.com/~wgray1/

USArmy Metalworking Manual:


Model Engineer Page: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~chrish/homepge2.htm

Metalworking.Com: http://www.metalworking.com/

Metalworking Vendor List: http://w3.uwyo.edu/~metal/vendors.html

Metal Suppliers Directory: http://www.loganact.com/mwn/suppliers.html

Retrofit Suppliers List: http://www.mendonet.com/inovat/cnclinks.htm





Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 05:54:22 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Medieval Jewellery-13thC Hairpins


I made some hairpins yesterday, 13th C like in the HMSO Dress accesories

book, I know you glass makers out there know this but for others who might

like to try here's the method I used.


Using a brazing torch I heated some enamal glass on a firebrick, then I

twisted brass wire (1mm and 0.5mm thick) in the molten glass, the 1mm

needed a bit of heat before the glass would stick. Then I pulled it away

from the glass, The head at this stage was rather crude, but if you apply a

little heat & twist it goes into a nice roundish blob on the end. I was

very pleased with the result. They looked alot like the real thing !  Took

me about ten mins to do.





Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 03:32:59 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Hairpins


I've been interested in making hairpins of that nature and am not familiar

with the book you referenced; could you give me the full title?


HMSO Museum of London Dress Accesories Medieval Finds from excavations in

London-still avaliable from Oxbow I believe


>. Is it a single-length hairpin, sort of one long rod,




> or is it the kind that's bent double to make two prongs?


Next project maybe !


> Is it wavy?


No but it will be after I've used it a few times I think as the rod is very



>Did you hammer it? (I'm fond of hammered brass and silver).


No 0.5mm is very tiny, if I'd hammered it it would probably snap


> Did the brass discolor from the heat at all?


no the only bit heated was the very end





Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 23:16:35 EDT

From: <GoodhueMA at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Repousse


Here are my two favorite metal working books:


Sprintzen, Alice; "Jewelry - Basic Techniques and Designs"  ISBN

0-8019-6830-3 Also in paperback.  This is a great how to book with discussion including history of metal working.


Untracht, Oppi; "Metal Techniques of Craftsmen - A Basic Manual"  ISBN

0-385-03027-4 Describes tools and techniques for all metal working projects.

Great examples of historical and modern jewelry.  All photographs are in

black and white.


I hope this is helpful.

~Agrippina Archon

Barony of Bjornsborg

Kingdom of Ansteorra



Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 14:33:09 -0400From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.eduSubject: Re: cold enameling There is also a fairly new series of low fire enamels that fireharden around 200 degrees in the oven (I think). I tried yesterdayto find it on the web, but could not find a particular page listingit. I think Rio Grande may carry it. But you'd have to order theircatalog to find out. http://www.riogrande.com/That should be below the temperature you are having trouble withwith your other metal fuming out at any rate.I don't have time to check the following pages, but they are jewelrysuppliers. You know how URL's move. The ones on top are general linkspages. Sometimes you have to delete the end of the addresses to getto a higher directory to find out what they did with the page.I think webpage designers are a bunch of reincarnated magpies myself.They love to move and rearrange their toys.MagnusJeweler's Suppliers of tools, gems, equipmenthttp://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/table.htmlhttp://www.jewelrymall.com/jewellinks.htmlhttp://jewelrymaking.miningco.com/msub4.htm?pid=2731&;cob=homehttp://www.larkbooks.com/home.nav/lb/supplies_jewelry.htmlhttp://jewelrymaking.miningco.com/mbody.htm?PID=2731&;COB=homehttp://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=jewelry;listhttp://www.ornabead.com/http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=lapidary;listhttp://www.paleoart.com/paleoart.htmhttp://www.scope.net/index.htmlhttp://www.silversmithing.com/sites.htmhttp://www.silversmithing.com/goods.htmhttp://www.metalworks.com/http://www.landofodds.com/shop/beadind.htmhttp://www.bleilysgems.com/http://www.bonnydoonengineering.com/http://www.vpm.com/conquest/http://www.dendritics.com/metal-f.htmhttp://www.eloxite.com/http://www.eurotool.com/eurotool.htmlhttp://spice.mhv.net/~fametal/http://www.firemtn.com/http://members.aol.com/forslev/Catalog.htmhttp://www.ofrei.com/http://www.gemdata.com/http://www.gemkey.com/http://www.tradeshop.com/gems/http://www.jewelrymall.com/gemshows.htmlhttp://www1.clearlight.com/~ricksgem/gems.htmlhttp://www.rockhounds.com/graves/http://www.griegers.com/http://www.helongco.com/http://www.gemstone.org/http://www.agate.net/~jsritter/http://www.widgetsupply.com/html/gt-jewelers_tools.htmlhttp://www.goldwerx.nu/jewlks.htmhttp://www.access.digex.net/~glh944/Home.htmhttp://www.ksjcs.com.sg/lostwax.htmlhttp://www.kitco.com/http://www1.shore.net/~lanelap/services.htmhttp://www.macaw-tools.com/http://www.atomic.net/~milita/http://www.paleoart.com/pmwest/pmwweb1.htmhttp://www.reactivemetals.com/http://www.riogrande.com/http://www.rockpeddler.com/http://iaswww.com/sampson/ Suppliers  http://www.caswellplating.com/  http://www.dalmarplating.com/



Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 08:29:05 -0500

From: "C. L. Ward" <gunnora at bga.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Serpent Stones and Serpent Beads


I have to point out that the topic of "serpent stones" and "serpent beads"

is elaborated on at length in:


Audrey L. Meaney. Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones. BAR British Series

96. Oxford: BAR. 1981.  ISBN 0-86054-148-7.


Apparently the Anglo-Saxons considered ammonite fossils to be

"serpent-stones". There have been a couple of graves containing fossil

ammonites pierced as if for a pendant in graves, primarily female graves

and childrens' graves (Meaney, 113-114).


Fossil echinoids (sea urchins) have the same type of reputation.  These

were termed "ovum anguinum" of which Pliny says:


"There is, moreover, a kind of egg, which is very famous in the Gauls....

Snakes intertwined in great numbers in a studied embrace make these round

objects with the saliva from their jaws and the foam of their bodies....

The Druids say that it is tossed aloft by the snakes' hisses and that it

ought to be caught in a military cloak before it can touch the earth. The

catcher, they say, must flee on horseback, for the serpents chase him until

they are separated by some intervening river.  A test of the genuine egg is

that it floats against the current, even if it is set in gold.... I have

indeed seen this egg, which was like a round apple of medium size, and

remarkable for its hard covering pitted with gristly cup-hollows, as it

were, like those on the tentacles of an octopus.  The Druids praise it

highly as the giver of victory in the law-courts and of easy access to

potentates. (Natural History XXX.xii.52, Meaney p. 118-119)


G. Agricola identifies a similar item, called a "thunder stone" (Latin

"brontia") in De Natura Fossilium Book V, and this is apparently a

Cyphosoma sea urchin.  The tradition of echinoids as thunder stones is

well-reported in England,particularly Sussex, Denmark and in Germany.


The Cornish and Scottish had a related belief in "serpent beads" which was

a term applied to variegated glass beads as well as Roman melon beads,

according to Meaney (p. 206).  In the 1695 edition of Camden's Brittania we



"In most parts of Wales we find it a common opinion of the vulgar, that

about Midsummer-Eve... 'tis usual for snakes to meet in companies, and that

by joyning heads together and hissing, a kind of Bubble is form'd like a

ring about the head of one of them, which the rest by continual hissing

blow on till it comes off at the tail, and then it immediately hardens, and

resembles a glass ring... call'd Gleineu Nadroedh, i.e., Gemmae Anguinae,

whereof I have seen several places about twenty or thirty.... They are

small glass Annulets, commonly about half as wide as our finger-rings, but

much thicker; of a green colour usually, tho' some of them are blue, and

others curiously wav'd with blue, red and white.  I have also seen two or

three earthen rings of this kind, but glaz'd with blue and adorn'd with

transverse streaks or furrows on the out-side."  (Meaney, 206).


Looking at the illustrations accompanying this description, we're

discussing glass beads of about 1/2 inch in diameter.  They have been

trailed with glass stringer to produce a double sine-wave design and

usually there is a dot in the middle of each "hump" area of the waves.

These do somewhat resemble spindle whorls, but they are clearly glass beads.


The folklore accompanying these items attributed protection and healing

from snakebite to them, all sorts of good luck, prosperity, protection from

evil, an amulet specifically for children to ward sore eyes, whooping cough

and to ease teething.


These beliefs occur in Viking Age Scandinavia as well:


Another type of amulet common to Scandinavia, especially Sweden and

Denmark, are "thunder stones."  There are two types of these.  The first is

a paleolithic stone axe head, which was thought to represent Thorr's

lightning bolt.  Many of the recovered axe heads bear runic inscriptions

which usually make little or no sense, and hence probably were utilized for

the magical properties of the inscribed runes. The next were the interior

fossils of bivalve shellfish, which also somewhat resemble the stone axes.

Thunder stones were often suspended in the rafters of a homestead to

protect against lightning and misfortune.  Another type of fossil held

sacred to Thorr were ammonite fossils, which were believed to be petrified

offspring of the World Serpent, slain by Thorr's lightning bolts.  These

were used as lightning warding amulets as well, perhaps on the premise that

if lightning had struck and killed the "serpent" in the stone, and

lightning does not strike the same place twice, then a home with such a

stone was safe from lightning.


For more info on the Norse beliefs, see:


Fuglesang, Signe Horn.  "Viking and Medieval Amulets in Scandinavia."

Fornvannen 84 (1989), pp. 15-25.


Almqvist, B.  "Torvigg." Kulturhistoriskt lexicon for nordisk nedeltid 18



Kivikoski, E. "Magisches fundgut aus finnischer Eisenzeit." Suomen museo

72:2 (1965).


Moltke, "Medieval rune amulets in Denmark."  Acta Ethnologica 1938:2-3.

Copenhagen: 1938.


Gunnora Hallakarva, OL

Baroness to the Court of Ansteorra



Subject: Re: period perfume recipes

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 08:47:31 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


Mediaeval European Jewellery    Ronald Lightbown

1993 592 pp 300x240 mm 180 col 350 b/w HB 0 948107 87 1     £120.00 W

All known surviving pieces of medieval jewellery are illustrated in this,

the first complete study devoted to 700 years of  European jewellery.

Also includes a complete catalogue of the V&A's holdings.

Good luck finding one except by Library Loan. I KNOW Duke University

has one. I could have bought a pair one time at $130 ea. but waited for

some other putz to make up his mind, and he's desperate for one now. :)



Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 12:34:34 -0600

From: Sue.Rogers at fritolay.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wire jewelry? (long response)


<<< I am looking for documentation on jewelry made of wire in period, especially

pins, broaches, and fasteners.  Did any cultures use copper wire (I have some around the house)?

Malachias >>>


I do a lot of wire work jewelry, and have found that it is not easy to document.

I have found examples of wire jewelry from the Greek (BC), Roman, Saxon and

Norse.  To be somewhat more detailed:


The early Greeks did a lot of spiral designs from wire, especially rings,

bracelets and upper arm bands, pins (straight with spiral heads), hair and

clothing ornaments, and a few clasps resembling hooks and eyes.  Some were

simple wire, others became more complex. Time frame about 1200 - 300 BC.


Romans did a lot of necklaces with beads on wire links.  Beads included pearls,

emeralds, glass, garnets, sapphires, and more.  Also there is a common style of

Roman earring that is basically an S shape turned sideways.  One end of the S

goes thru the ear, and the other has pearls or other beads on it.  Then the end

with the beads is fastened to the middle of the S by wrapping with a smaller

wire.  Very nice, and fairly easy to make.  There is also a ring I have seen

which is easy to make out of about 16 or 18 gauge wire.  Wrap the wire around

some kind of mandrel and where it crosses, twist it around several times.  This

makes a sort of rosette in the middle of the ring, with 2 wire ends sticking

out.  Wrap the wire ends around the shank of the ring, and fill smooth if

needed.  Time frame 200 BC to 600 AD, with a lot of continuation in the

Byzantine empire till about 1200? maybe.


There are some Saxon rings that are just pieces of wire overlapped and wrapped

about each other.  And some of the Norse silver hoards show similar rings and

bracelets that are several wires twisted together (like a stranded wire) and

made into a bracelet.  It is my understanding that these types of rings and

bracelets were used as portable money, and would be cut up and used to buy

things as needed.  Time frame 500 - 700? maybe.


And many of the penannular brooches can be made from wire.  I usually use about

10 gauge wire, and put a *long* taper on the pin stem, so it goes through the

fabric easier.  Also, flatten the end of the pin stem that goes around the ring,

and it will fit better.


A lot more of the later jewelry is cast, except for chains, of course, which are

often made of wire.  The simplest chain is just one ring connected to the next.

But the most common kind of chain is "loop-in-loop".  The construction is very

time consuming, so I haven't tried it yet.


When I have taught simple jewelry making classes, we have also braided wire to

make bracelets, fillets, etc.  This gives an appearance similar to knotwork,

especially some of the Viking pieces that are not as regular as some of the

Irish stuff.  I haven't documented this though.


Most surviving jewelry is gold, because it survives better.  We also have

jewelry of silver, bronze and various copper alloys, iron, pewter, lead.  I

don't remember seeing much, if anything, in pure copper in what I have seen,

although I can't think of a reason not to use it.  (It was widely used and well

understood, as evidenced by all the alloys used, it occurs in pure form in

places, it work hardens better than pewter or lead, and it doesn't rust like

iron - should have been good for jewelry.)


Here are some books I have found that might be helpful, if you can track them



Richard Hattat, "Ancient and Romano-British Brooches", Dorset Publishing, 1982,

republished by Anglia Publishing, 1994 - excellent survey of various pins.  Most

are early, a few as late as 1400's.  In particular, check the early straight

pins, the penannulars, and the annulars.


Jack Ogden, "Jewelry of the Ancient World", Rizzoli, 1982 - excellent discussion

of all aspects of jewelry making from Greek and Eutruscan, Egyptian, Roman to

Byzantine and a little Medieval. Discusses tools, techniques, materials,

sources, fakes (period and modern). Includes lots of photos and electron

photo-micrographs showing details of construction.


Cyril Stanley Smith and John G. Hawthorne, translators of Theophilus work "On

Divers Arts" from about 1130, published by Dover, NY, 1979 - period treatise on

glass making, painting, and most especially, metalworking.  Excellent for

documentation, and has some useful ideas in it.


Hugh Tait, "Jewelry: 7000 Years", Abradale Press, 1991 - coffee table book, lots

of pictures, ranging from Egyptian to modern, text is also good.


And I have found a couple of books on Greek and Roman Jewelry (at least 2 with

that title) in the library, but I don't seem to have them in my bibliography -

must be at home.


Have fun, and let us know how you fare.

Suzanna, the Herbalist, Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra (Dallas,

TX), who has been playing with wire jewelry for, um, well, since I discovered

silver wire in the bookstore in college, some years ago.



Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 00:16:16 -0600

From: "Walter J. Wakefield" <wjwakefield at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wire jewelry? another book


Found the info on the other book I was thinking of.


R. A. Higgins, "Greek and Roman Jewelry", Methuen and Co., London, 1961 -

classical items only, B&W photos at the end and line drawings in the

text.  Good discussion of tools, techniques, items (seems almost like a

precursor to Jack Ogden's book).  Author is former curator of one of the

big British museums (don't remember which, and I apparently did not xerox

the intro).


Suzanna, herbalist



Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 08:53:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: H B <nn3_shay at yahoo.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Wire jewelry?


--- DianaFiona at aol.com wrote:

> Sue.Rogers at fritolay.com writes:

> <<

>  Did you gold-plate the copper, or did you get it already plated?  I would be

>  interested in knowing more about how you plated it or where I could get some,

> since gold is too expensive to do a lot of fooling around with, and this sounds

>  like a good alternative.  Thanks for any input.

>   >>

>     It's not hard to find gold-filled wire for sale--most of the

> major

> jewelry supply places will have it, in both round and square.

>             Ldy Diana


And gold-filled wire can be worked much more vigorously than

gold-plated, because the layer of karat gold is much thicker.  It will

wear away eventually, but won't scratch through.  For those who might

be interested, gold-filled material is marked something like 14/20,

which means brass is covered with 14kt gold, 1/20 (5%) gold-to-brass

ratio by weight.  12/10 is another common marking I've seen on finished

gold-filled jewelry -- 12 kt gold, 1/10th by weight.  The karat gold is

bonded to the brass by heat and pressure, not plating; this layer is

generally on one side of gold-filled sheet, or all around gold-filled

wire.  I believe gold-filled can be annealed and drawn just like solid,

though I haven't done it.  Many more people (in my experience) use

gold-filled wire for wrapping than solid karat gold, for obvious

reasons; those who use the solid are professionals using expensive

stones, and price accordingly.  


At least at Rio Grande, you can get what they call brass practice wire,

square, but in very limited sizes, as well as round copper, brass, and

nickel-alloy wire.


-- Harriet



Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 22:53:21 -0300

From: dwilson at nbnet.nb.ca (dwilson)

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Wire jewelry?


  No one mentioned  Herbert Maryon`s book `Metalwork & Enamelling` from

Dover.  It has pictures of twisted wires that were used In period.


    Not very exact as a source though. Considering he helped reconstruct

parts of the Sutton Hoo treasure for the British Museum.


  I teach a roman chain pattern at events to make a copper bracelet but I

cant remember where I found it. (The link pattern)






Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 18:10:12 -0400

From: Warren & Meredith Harmon <silveroak at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: PERIOD cloak clasps


This may not help you, but the book "Metal Craftsmanship in Early

Ireland" by Michael Ryan, ISBN 0-946172-37-4, is wonderfully excellent

for Celtic brooches of the 8th-10th century.  Great shots, both b&w and

color.  I highly recommend it for anyone in that period, and it may be a

good place to start for info.  





From: rlobinske at aol.com (Richard Lobinske)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: jewlery making

Date: 15 May 2000 10:26:50 GMT


The following two references have information on the pins for Saxon disc

brooches, which are very similar to the viking material.  Essentially you have

two methods here, either three tabs are cast on the back like this: ==     --

The twin tabs will have a hole drilled through and the pin set in place with a

rivet, while the longer single tab will be folded over to form the catch.  The

other is to form a safety pin style back from a single wire, one end brough up

and looped over to form the catch, then run the lenght of the pin, the coiled

to form the spring, then the sharpened end brought back.  These were often

attached by small rivets.


Bruce-Mitford, R.L.S.  1956.  Late saxon disc-brooches.  In:  Harden, D.B.

(Ed.).  Dark-Age Britain.  Methuen and Company Ltd.  London.


Southworth, E. (Ed.).  1990.  Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries.  A Reappraisal.  Alan

Sutton Publishing.  Phoenix Mill, UK.


Victor Hildebrand vonn Koln

mka Richard Lobinske



From: "Morgan E. Smith" <mesmith at calcna.ab.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: jewlery making

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 18:46:48 -0600

Organization: Calgary Community Network Assoc.


On Sun, 14 May 2000, Rebecca Cox wrote:

> My lord is interested in making period jewelry. Right now he's

> experimenting with casting. My question is, can anyone suggest a book or

> website that could help him? One of his main questions has to deal with

> the backs of the jewelry (ie, cloak pins and such that he's seeing in a

> Viking book). The books don't show the back. Could someone knowelegable

> in this area e-mail me personally?


  Tim McCreight's "Practical Casting" and "The Complete Metalsmith" are

the two my husband (a goldsmith by trade) recommends as studio guides. He

says anyone, if they follow the directions faithfully, will turn out work

of reasonable quality: the text is very clear and direct, leaves nothing

"assumed" and they are spiral bound, for easy use.


  Very few books on jewelry show the backs, unless there is something

about the back that really is special. A better bet is a text on the

archeological stuff from a particular dig: often, there might be sketches

of the piece from several views. It is getting better; I saw a book on

"Celticky" stuff a couple of years ago that showed the back of the 'Tara'

brooch. (You don't, as a novice, want to see that. The back is nicer than

most jewelrys' fronts...)


Morgan the Unknown



Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 22:48:17 -0400

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Re-oxidizing silver?


It's called Liver of Sulphur or potassium sulfate.

Available from jewelry suppliers like Rio Grande.

Follow the directions on the bottle.

Apply and later polish the high spots for a silvery appearance.




Morgaine of Glastonbury wrote:

> Hi.  I have a silver etched Celtic cuff-type bracelet.

> In my over-enthusiasm and bad product choice, I

> managed to take the black "background" off of about a

> quarter of the bracelet.  Is there a way to re-blacken

> this?  On someone's advice, I tried putting nail

> polish remover on it, but that did nothing.  Thanks.

> =====

> Morgaine of Glastonbury

> Barony of Aquaterra MoAS

> Kingdom of An Tir



Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 22:30:01 -0500

From: "Walter J. Wakefield" <wjwakefield at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Re-oxidizing silver?


Anything with sulfur in it will oxidize silver.  Most commonly used are

liver of sulfur or another silver oxidizer - these are usually available

from jewelers supply places.  Sometimes sulfur powder is available at a

hardware or drug stores (commonly used for repelling ants and other

bugs). I have also gotten severe tarnish on a silver chain from refried

beans (might also try bean dip).  The trick, of course, is to only get

the oxidizer where you want it - otherwise you have to polish it off the

high spots...  A jeweler of my acquaintence uses black model paint and a

fine brush to put black backgrounds on jewelry items (especially gold,

which is harder to oxidize than silver).  Good luck.


Suzanna, the herbalist, Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra

(Dallas, TX), ocassional silversmith



Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 14:07:18 -0400

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Subject: Viking Wire Weaving Book


At the last jewelry show we attended bought a book on Viking style

wire chain weaving.


"_Great Wire Jewelry_ by Irene From Peterson, based on centuries-old

Old English designs and techniques invented by the Vikings.

All you need: this book, wire (silver, copper, or brass), and

a few basic tools, no soldering. You'll find simple, ingenious techniques,

color photos and step-by-step diagrams for all 70 projects, and a

range from kids-can-do to challenging."


http://www.larkbooks.com/ #478 $14.95


It was a translated book from Scandinavia put out by Lark Books in

Asheville, N.C.. It's small but excellent.





To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 23:32:38 -0500

Subject: Re: ANST - medieval jewelry

From: "Walter J. Wakefield" <wjwakefield at juno.com>


Here are some books that I have used for jewelry information.  At least

some should be available in your public library.  Or for anyone in the

Steppes area, I have most of these and don't mind people coming over for

a look and discussion of how to do some of the pieces.  Around 1100's,

rings might be your best bet.  After wimples become popular, there is not

much indication of earrings and relatively fewer necklaces.  Anyway, the



Suzanna, herbalist


Ogden, Jack: Jewelry of the Ancient World, Rizzoli, 1982 - covers greece,

Rome thru Byzantine.  Excellent discussion of tools, materials, sources

of materials.


Sherr-Dubin, Lois: The History of Beads, Harry N. Abrams, NY, 1982 - lots

of pictures of beads, good discussion, covers all time periods


Hall, Richard: The Viking Dig, The Bodley Head, London - discusses some

of the excavations at York.  some jewelry included.


Hattatt, Richard: Ancient and Romano-British Brooches, Dorset Publishing,

1982, repub. Anglia Publishing, 1994 - in-depth coverage of pins thru

early medieval period.


Higgins, R. A.: Greek and Roman Jewelry, Methuen and Co. Ltd, London,

1961 - mostly Greek and Roman, so a bit earlier than what you want.  but

might have some ideas.


Kuntz, George: Rings for the Finger, 1917, repub. Dover, NY - covers

rings only, some are period.  citations are not always sufficiently

detailed.  pictures are engravings, not photos.


Tait, Hugh, ed.: Jewelry; 7,000 Years, Abradale Press, 1991 - lots of

pictures, many from period.  good discussion.


I'm sure there are others.............


On Tue, 06 Jun 2000 18:50:13 -0500 STDRLC13 <STDRLC13 at shsu.edu> writes:

>Quick question: Where on earth do I find pictures of  medieval jewelry?

>I've been doing persona research and cannot for the life of me find any

>references or desriptions of  jewelry from France (hah!) from around

>1100-1150. Does anyone know of any archeology books that I can look in?

>I really want to find a primary source and while I can see from some

>illuminated manuscripts that the nobles are wearing jewelry there isn't

>enough detail for me to lift a design. Anybody got a suggestion?

>                    -Isabeau



From: Salli Weston <westo006 at tc.umn.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Russian Jewelry

Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 11:34:26 -0500

Organization: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus


I thought some on the list would find this interesting I apoligize for

the length.  Taken from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:


Russian treasures of gold and jewels that survived centuries of upheaval

and even the Bolshevik Revolution will make their home in the United

States for the next 11 months.


"Imagine if, in 700 years, the Smithsonian Institution packed up 140 of

America's finest treasures and sent them to Russia for the Russian

people to enjoy, then you'd see you what they have done for us," says

Jim Weaver, president of the board of directors of the Houston Museum of

Natural Science where "Kremlin Gold: 1,000 Years of Russian Gems and

Jewels" is on show.


The pieces will be shown only in Houston and, starting in October, at

Chicago's Field Museum. They will return to Moscow at the end of March

2001 and will not travel again, according to Kremlin Museum director

Irina Rodimtseva.


A Byzantine influence  


Seven years in the making, "Kremlin Gold" sprung from an idea by

Houstonmuseum president Truett Latimer and gem and jewel curator Joel

Bartsch to exhibit a single collection that spanned 1,000 years.


"The Kremlin is one of the only museums with extensive enough holdings

to bring 1,000 years to us," Bartsch says.


Though most Americans recognize the Kremlin as Russia's political seat,

The 633-year-old Moscow complex is also the country's cultural and

historical center.  Its State Historical-Culture Museum has about 65,000

pieces in its collection and historical records.


The Houston exhibition is split into two galleries, one focusing on

pre-18th century, the other the 18th century to the present.


Common to most of the pieces is the signature metalwork, inlaid

gemstones and religious icons, the last a result of a strong Byzantine

influence on Russian art.


In 1557, Ivan the Terrible commissioned a gold frame, or oklad, to cover

a painted wooden icon of the Madonna and Child. Considered the best

example of 16th-century Russian goldsmithing, the bejeweled and

filigreed frame now has only black velvet where the icons once sat. It

took three years to complete.


More impressive in size is the golden sarcophagus cover of Prince

Dmitry, Ivan's youngest son, who died at age 8 in 1591. The boy was

canonized in 1603, and Czar Mikhail Feodorovich ordered a life-size

image of him crafted in gold in 1630.


Kremlin artisans embellished the 65-pound cover with filigree, various

jewels and small portraits of the family's patron saints, a common

feature of religious Russian art. Only three such covers are known to



"During Napoleon's invasion in 1812, the actual sarcophagus was lost,

but a group of jewelers carried the cover outside of the city and hid

it," says Kremlin curator Marina Martinova.


The silver shrine holding the boy saint's body has never been found,

Martinova said.


Russians took great care to hide the country's prized artwork in times

of war or invasion and "would lay down their lives to protect them," she

said.  Several of the pieces on display were recovered centuries after

they were hidden or disappeared.


A braided gold bracelet and a gold necklace accented with cut glass,

both dating from the 4th century and the oldest pieces on display, were

discovered by boys playing near their Black Sea homes in 1927. The works

were believed hidden when the Huns invaded. When the boys' father turned

the treasures over to the government, he was rewarded with a horse -- a

prized possession in the harsh years of starvation that followed the

October Revolution.


Preserving the past  


Even though the gold and jewelry held at the Kremlin was symbolic of the

excesses of the very aristocracy the Bolsheviks fought to overthrow,

Russia's new rulers preserved them when they seized power in 1917.


But the Romanov family's collection of 54 Faberge eggs -- perhaps the

most famous pieces of Russian art -- were considered extravagances and

sold in the 1930s. Modern Russian art historians consider that a

mistake. Only 10 are now in the country, the rest held by private



"When I first started as a tour guide 36 years ago, I was taught that

the Faberge exhibit was nothing," says Irina Polianina, a Kremlin

curator. "Step by step, we changed our understanding of it."

Two of the eggs are in the exhibit, one made to commemorate the

completion of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1900 and the other a 1909

tribute to the Romanovs' royal yacht, the Standart. Both were

commissioned by Czar Nicholas II as gifts for his wife.


The eggs' fine detail is almost too precise for the naked eye to see

behind the glass cases.


The railroad egg contains a working miniature model of the very first

train to ride the route, cut in gold and platinum and made to be folded

to the size of a matchbook. The train's windows -- smaller than an

infant's fingernail -- are made of quartz crystal, clear for most cars

and dark for the smoking sections.


The Standart egg has 1,786 diamonds of varying size adorning a platform

of gold, platinum and lapis lazuli. A precise finger-sized model of the

350-foot yacht rides on an ocean of quartz carved with waves breaking

off the tiny vessel's bow.



From: Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Silver Jewelry for non-jewelers II

Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 08:32:10 -0400

Organization: Medieval Hats for everyone http://www.virtue.to


You may recall the short discussion we had about Precious Metal Clay.

I've gotten my pieces back and you can see them, and read more info, at



Cynthia du Pr Argent



From: "Martin Catt" <lodovico at airmail.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Jewelry making history?

Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 21:53:42 -0600


Before the advent of propane torches, acetylene, or gasoline blowtorches,

jewelers used an alcohol flame and a small blowpipe to direct and intensify

the heat where they needed it. The heat generated was quite sufficient for

hard soldering (around 1100 degrees F ) and would work well for lower

temperature soldering. The difference is that most jewelers solder by

heating the workpiece directly, with a small chip of solder placed on the

joint. Few jewelers use an iron for soldering (hard soldering, at least).

The results are just too unpredictable. By heating the work from the side

opposite to the solder chip, when the melting point of the solder is

reached, the molten solder wicks into the joint (molten solder always heads

for the hottest point), leaving a clean joint with little excess solder to

be removed.


Blowpipe soldering is done by gentle, repeated puffs of air thru the

blowpipe, each lasting about three or four seconds, with a breath taken

between. The key is to not blow too hard, or breathe too deeply, or you'll

hyperventilate. You really don't need a ferocious torch to do jewelry work

(as long as you stay away from platinum). The pieces on the average are

small, and will get to temperature eventually. As one instructor put it,

flux the parts, place your solder chips, apply the flame, and just wait.


"Chas" <charles at historicgames.com> wrote

> If memory serves, somewhere I once I saw picture of an (18th? 19th? century)

> jeweler's small soldering iron which was heated using an alcohol, or spirit

> lamp. Any jewelry making historians out there who can suggest where I might

> find a picture of one, or tell me if I've just lost my mind?

> Chas



From: "Martin Catt" <lodovico at airmail.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Jewelry making history?

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 08:12:59 -0600


> I would have thought that distilled alcohol would have been a bit costly

> to use as fuel in the middle ages, and probably unavailable during the

> earlier parts of our period.

> What is your source on this? I don't remember either Cellini or

> Theophilus describing such a technique. Both of them use furnaces for

> soldering, although I would have to go back through the books to see if

> that is the only way they do it.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

> http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Medieval.html


Flamable liquids of just about any type would be suitable for blowpipe work,

such as animal fats, turpentines distilled from wood, or natural petroleum

seeps. Alcohol became the heat source of choice (for chemistry, anyhow)

because it produced a clean flame. I suppose the same would apply for

jewelers as well. I recall doing blowpipe work of a crude sort with my first

chemistry set and a wax candle.


Expensive? I suppose so, but then again, jewelers tend to work producing

items of high intrinsic value, so I would imagine using an expensive fuel

for certain critical operations wouldn't be considered too extravigant.


Most of my information comes either word-of-mouth from traditional jewelers

or from technical articles in watchmaking magazines, describing how things

used to be done. For watchmakers, mounting studs for porcelain-on-copper

dials would snap off and would have to be resoldered in place. A mouth

blowpipe was the tool of choice because it left both hands free to

manipulate the work while providing directed heat. Henry Fried published an

article on soldering dial feet in Horological Times five to ten years back

(actually, I think it was a reprint, since I recall he had died previously),

where I got most of my info on the proper technique. Sorry I can't be more

specific than that. I never intended to use it as a source. I just digested

the info and filed it away for later use.


I've got a few engravings showing 16th century jewelers at work. Lemme dig

them out and see what apparatus shows up in them.






Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 22:29:56 -0600

From: David Hughes <davidjhughes.tx at netzero.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Jewelry making history?


Martin Catt wrote:

> Flamable liquids of just about any type would be suitable for blowpipe work,

> such as animal fats, turpentines distilled from wood, or natural petroleum

> seeps. Alcohol became the heat source of choice (for chemistry, anyhow)

> because it produced a clean flame. I suppose the same would apply for

> jewelers as well. I recall doing blowpipe work of a crude sort with my first

> chemistry set and a wax candle.


> Expensive? I suppose so, but then again, jewelers tend to work producing

> items of high intrinsic value, so I would imagine using an expensive fuel

> for certain critical operations wouldn't be considered too extravigant.


> Most of my information comes either word-of-mouth from traditional jewelers

> or from technical articles in watchmaking magazines, describing how things

> used to be done. For watchmakers, mounting studs for porcelain-on-copper

> dials would snap off and would have to be resoldered in place. A mouth

> blowpipe was the tool of choice because it left both hands free to

> manipulate the work while providing directed heat. Henry Fried published an

> article on soldering dial feet in Horological Times five to ten years back

> (actually, I think it was a reprint, since I recall he had died previously),

> where I got most of my info on the proper technique. Sorry I can't be more

> specific than that. I never intended to use it as a source. I just digested

> the info and filed it away for later use.


> I've got a few engravings showing 16th century jewelers at work. Lemme dig

> them out and see what apparatus shows up in them.


> Regards;

> Lodovico


From a chemist/alchemist bias, a charcoal block and blowpipe can produce

a very intense small area heat source, more than hot enough to melt

glass or heat iron wire white hot.   Essentially a micro sized bellows

forge <G>


My to hand sources (1846) only show this as a "traditional" technique.

I vaguely recall a painting of an alchemist using one some time prior to

1500, but I don't recall the source.


David Gallowglass



From: "Martin Catt" <lodovico at airmail.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Jewelry making history?

Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 09:36:27 -0600


"David Hughes" <davidjhughes.tx at netzero.net> wrote

>From a chemist/alchemist bias, a charcoal block and blowpipe can produce

> a very intense small area heat source, more than hot enough to melt

> glass or heat iron wire white hot.   Essentially a micro sized bellows

> forge <G>

> My to hand sources (1846) only show this as a "traditional" technique.

> I vaguely recall a painting of an alchemist using one some time prior to

> 1500, but I don't recall the source.

> David Gallowglass


Before silica soldering blocks, jewelers used charcoal blocks to support the

workpieces being soldered. The terms used to describe the advantages of

charcoal was that it "reflected" the heat back to the workpiece, allowing

higher temps to be reached with less huffing and puffing. I suspect the

surface of the charcoal was actually being burned away, providing even more

fuel and heat for the job at hand.


Mouth-blown blowpipes were used by Egyptians for smelting copper ores to

release the pure metal. Smelting runs would often last a whole day --

imagine the lung power the smelters must have developed. They'd make one

hell of a field herald.






From: David Friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Jewelry making history?

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 16:55:34 -0800


ksilverhorn at home.com wrote:

> While we're discussing soldering in period, what would they have used

> for flux in period?


I believe borax is mentioned by both Cellini and Theophilus, although I

would have to check to make sure.






Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 14:23:41 -0400

From: Warren & Meredith Harmon <silveroak at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: True-Love Knots


Okay, this is me digging out the jewelry books....


In no particular order: Andrea Solario (1460-1524) painted a picture of

Salome, and there's a love knot in her necklace - partially hidden by the

big honking jewel, so the piece is probably Frankensteined (my

definition: an older piece of jewelry with "modern" bits added to make it

look contemporary, not like grandma's jewels).  Hans Memling's famous pic

of Maria Maddalena Baroncelli and her nightmare of a necklace are *not*

lover's knots, and neither are the ones around a statue of Saint Barbara

made of lindenwood in Alsace in 1500.  That's just fun with wire or

crocheted wire in fanciful figure eights.  Do you know what I mean by a

Heracles Knot?  That's been around since Classical Greece, and it's *not*

a lover's knot.  In a Lorenzu de Credi portrait of a young woman (the

Young Widow), her necklace may be tied in a lover's knot - it's hard to



Now, in the other book I have (Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery, Diana

Scarisbrick, ISBN 1-85437-158-4), they have various snippets throughout

the book that various English families in that period had "family knots",

which were also like badges for each high family.  Most of these (quick

skim) are some form of interlaced figure-eight.


Hmmm. Check Stuart jewelry - that's when it hit the "height of fashion".

I have lots of leads but nothing definite - except that this book makes

a big distinction between friar's knots and true-love knots.  All I know

is that today's true-love knot is *not* the same as the medieval one!  


-Caro, now insatiably curious



Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 23:12:19 -0700

From: Tim Bray <tbray at mcn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: True-Love Knots


Thanks for the cites.  Tomorrow if I have time I will try tracking down

some of these paintings.


In no particular order: Andrea Solario (1460-1524) painted a picture of

>Salome, and there's a love knot in her necklace


Solario? Doesn't ring a bell.  Where is this painting?


> - partially hidden by the

>big honking jewel, so the piece is probably Frankensteined (my

>definition: an older piece of jewelry with "modern" bits added to make it

>look contemporary, not like grandma's jewels).


Love it!


>   Hans Memling's famous pic

>of Maria Maddalena Baroncelli and her nightmare of a necklace are *not*

>lover's knots, and neither are the ones around a statue of Saint Barbara

>made of lindenwood in Alsace in 1500.  That's just fun with wire or

>crocheted wire in fanciful figure eights.


There appears to have been quite a fad for such things in the late 15th

century. The Maria Portinari portrait (in the Met) has an elaborate

necklace with wire knots, but I don't think they are true-love knots either.


>Do you know what I mean by a

>Heracles Knot?  That's been around since Classical Greece, and it's *not*

>a lover's knot.


Yes. It's a square knot, basically.  Was big in Classical times but I

haven't come across it much in the MA.


>Now, in the other book I have (Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery, Diana

>Scarisbrick, ISBN 1-85437-158-4), they have various snippets throughout

>the book that various English families in that period had "family knots",

>which were also like badges for each high family.  Most of these (quick

>skim) are some form of interlaced figure-eight.


A peculiarly English phenomenon, perhaps?  And mostly 16th century, whereas

the fad for friar's knots /true-love knots was big in the 15th.


>Hmmm. Check Stuart jewelry - that's when it hit the "height of fashion".

> I have lots of leads but nothing definite - except that this book makes

>a big distinction between friar's knots and true-love knots.


Interesting. Could Lightbown have been incorrectly conflating the two?  Or

were they the same in the 15th c and then diverged?  Lightbown provides

quotes from documents where they say something like "friar's knots, that is

to say, true-love knots" when talking about jewelry.



Albion, CA




Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 14:05:16 -0700

From: Tim Bray <tbray at mcn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: True-Love Knots, redux


>I must have missed the email with the sites listed concerning the love knots.


Well, there wasn't any list of "sites."  Maybe you mean "cites," as

abbreviation for "citations?"


My question stemmed from references in Lightbown, Ronald W.: "Medieval

European Jewellery," published by the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992.  In

the Index, under "true-love knots," he says: "see Friars' knots."   Friars'

knots being the ones that Franciscans tie in the free end of their rope

belts. On p. 243. he says: "The motif of friars' knots, symbolising true

love, was universally popular in all countries for women's chains and

collars." On p. 244, describing chains of Francois II of Brittany (from a

1490 document), he says:  "The simplest was formed once more of true-love

knots in the shape of friars' knots..."  So apparently they were not

exclusively for women.  Marguerite of Brittany also had a "gold chain with

friars' knots," so maybe there was a matched set?


Later, describing collars, he again refers to the collar owned by

Marguerite of Brittany, this time described in an inventory of 1469:  "...

a gold collar enameled black, violet, and white, with the letters F and M

for her husband Francois and herself, with friars' knots, that is true-love

knots, and with pansies enamelled white and violet."  He goes on to say

that "Such collars advertising conjugal devotion seem to have been in high

vogue during this decade, although their origin certainly dates back to the

late fourteenth century..."


I'm trying to design such a collar for a couple, in a late fourteenth

century style if possible.  That's why the sudden interest in lovers' knots!


Finally, on p. 334, Lightbown says:  "The love-knot appears in one of its

favourite forms, the friar-knot, in girdles which took the form of a

cordeliere or Franciscan's girdle."  He cites an example from an inventory

of Louis of Anjou, 1379-80.


Ah-HAH! "ONE of its favourite forms..."  Perhaps we are encountering that

pesky standardization issue here!   Other sources appear much less certain

that the "true-love knot" is actually the same thing as the "Friars'

knot." For example, Clare Phillips in "Jewels and Jewelry," also published

by the V& A in 2000, shows two 17th c. examples of the "true lovers' knot,"

both of which are figure-eight knots.  (Interestingly, she does not mention

Lightbown at all in the acknowledgements or introduction, nor does his work

appear in the Bibliography.  Perhaps this is related to the fact that she

devotes a grand total of two pages to the medieval period.)


Responses to my question have pointed me to the Unicorn Tapestries, wherein

are found a three-looped knot, allegedly also a form of lovers' knot

although I haven't found the reference.  I'm still tracking down other sources.



Colin the confused



Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 14:12:31 -0700

From: Tim Bray <tbray at mcn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: True-Love Knots


>Andrea Solario (1460-1524) painted a picture of

>Salome, and there's a love knot in her necklace - partially hidden by the

>big honking jewel, so the piece is probably Frankensteined (my

>definition: an older piece of jewelry with "modern" bits added to make it

>look contemporary, not like grandma's jewels).


OK, I found a nice close-up of this in "Metropolitan Jewelry" by Sophie

McConnell. She claims that the loops are actually the bow-knot tying

Salome's chemise together; and I think there is justification for that

view. The necklace may not be Frankensteined, as the fashion for big

honking jewels went back to the early 15th century, and the

jet-and-pearl-bead necklace looks rather Early Modern to my eyes anyway.


Back to you... I'm still searching for that 15th century depiction of a

lovers' knot.  Until I find one, I'm inclined to accept Lightbown's

authority and use a friars' knot, perhaps loosened and shaped like a

heart. Do you think that would be consistent with 15th century practice?





From: wtp at nds10758.cb.lucent.com (Powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Wire Wrap Jewelry?

Date: 20 Jun 2001 13:06:47 GMT

Organization: Lucent Technologies, Columbus Ohio


>I've had zilch luck on this so far, but does anyone know of any books

>with photos of wire wrapped stones or other similar type jewelry?


Some of the early spectacle brooches are just made from wire.  Drilling

for beads or simple bezels seem to go *way* back, look at some of the

egyptian work.  I do seem to recall one or two wired pieces from classical

greece though.




W.Thomas Powers



From: Heather Rose Jones <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Wire Wrap Jewelry?

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 19:46:39 -0700

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


Copernicus Skygazer wrote:

> I've had zilch luck on this so far, but does anyone know of any books

> with photos of wire wrapped stones or other similar type jewelry?


If you're looking specifically for period examples of the modern

wire-wrapped stone style, I can't help you, but if you're interested in

looking at historic examples of wire-based jewelry techniques, you might

want to look at the wire-work found at Birka, which includes twisted

wire "frames" around shaped pieces of mica, and animal figures made from

twisted wire.




Heather Rose Jones

hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu



From: karen moon [karenmoon at msn.com]

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 8:08 PM

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Period Religious Jewelery -- Or Maybe Not!



In like manner of Mistress Mari's answer of things that "might have been"

jewelry of religious nature; many amulets made from antler points and/or

antler crowns (the part where it flares out and attached to the head) have

been found in digs in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Britannic Isles.

Many of those found have been either incised (scrimshaw is the post period

term for this art) or carved in very basic base relief with geometric

patterns, including allot of dots and circles. Beads made of antler were

also found decorated in this fashion.

Although it is not known for sure wether or not these amulets were truly of

religious nature it is a distinct possibility.


Master Darius of the Bells, OL



Darius brings up a good point -- Are amulets considered religious?  Many scholars make quite the point of separating magic from religion and place amulets, talismans and other "protective" (superstitious) paraphernalia in a different research bin from "religious" jewelry.  (So which bin does a St. Christopher medal go in?)


Some amulets may well have been religious.  Others .... might be a stretch to call them such.  Phallus amulets, for instance, were wildly popular with the Romans.  They were apparently hung on children and animals to ward off disease, they were incised into buildings as a charm to keep them from falling down or to keep burglars away, they even fashioned lamps in the shape of phalluses.  Most every garden had it's guardian Priapus, a stone or wooden statue of the self-same god, who sported quite the masculine member.  Their ubiquity in Roman areas might even suggest the Romans worshipped phalluses.  Happily, the Romans were literate and left many records, so we know they didn't worship phalluses (per se) and didn't even have a god of phalluses (Priapus notwithstanding...)   Other protective amulets were eyes -- painted on the sides of ships, melted into glass "eye" beads -- all meant to turn the "evil eye" and ward off bad luck.


This brief tangent is only meant to suggest that -- without further evidence or research -- a piece of jewelry might or might not be an amulet, and an amulet might or might not have religious significance.


Mari ferch Rathyen

annoying people with research since at least 1986....



From: Hillary Greenslade [hillaryrg at yahoo.com]

Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 8:32 PM

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Ansteorra] RE: Jewelry


Botolf said:

>You will often find Vikings wearing belt tips or square necklaces with

>Christian symbols early on when they were not Christian.  These were

>actually the silver or gold hinges torn off Bibles they acquired during

>raids.  They thought anything important should be carved in stone, so they

>used the leather, made jewelry from the hinges and used the paper for fire

>tender.  So if you have a viking persona, you can wear Christian jewelry.

>Just say you got it the last time you sacked an Abbey.


While not particularly religious in nature, many early period jewelry

included metal coins, often an entire necklace of coins strung together with

bails added, so the face of the coins would show when worn. The metal was

considered so rare, that it was not melted down, with the coin design as its

own artform.  I guess it could be considered 'religious', if the coins were

of from a pilgrimage.





From: ddfr at daviddfriedman.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medievaloid shopping: torcs, $3.45

Date: 6 Jul 2004 10:09:38 -0700


"Mark S. Harris" <stefanlirous at austin.rr.com> wrote

> David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com> wrote:


> >  Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org> wrote:

> >

> > > Fire Mountain Gems has twisted wire neck rings which look a lot like a

> > > torc.  They're designed to take beads, but no reason not to wear them

> > > as-is, as long as your neck isn't too big for them.  Silver plate or

> > > gold plate.

> > >

> > > http://www.firemountaingems.com/details.asp?PN=688962FN

> >

> > Along similar lines, I was in the local Orchard Supply Hardware recently

> > and noticed a lot of fibulae--I think circle pins. I forget what they

> > thought they were--next time I'm there I'll check.


> LOL! Please do.


They are called "Lynch pins" but, on a closer examination, are not

quite circle pins. The circle isn't actually a closed ring--the part

coming into the straight part on one side is offset from the part on

the other side.



From: Anna Troy <owly3 at yahoo.se>

Date: February 17, 2006 1:02:49 AM CST

To: sca-librarians at lists.gallowglass.org

Subject: [Sca-librarians] Reprint of an  jewelers bible?


Got this from my kingdom list


Anna de Byxe


> There is an effort being made to have Lightbown's

> "European Mediaeval Jewellery" reprinted.

> See for details,


> Robert



From: "celia" <c_a_blay at hotmail.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: period chain examples

Date: 21 Jul 2006 12:21:24 -0700


celia wrote:

> Christy Kohama wrote:

> > I've always been curious about this: what chain weaves are considered

> > period, and where can I find pics/documentation?  I know the standard chain

> > for armor is thoroughly documented, but what of the "jewelry" type of weaves

> > such as spiral, full and 4-in-1 persian?  Any input is greatly appreciated!

> >

> > A detail from the workshop of St. Eligius by Petrus Christus

> > If you google it on images the full version can also be seen

> > with interesting details of a medieval goldsmiths' shop.

> > Painted 1449 the detail shows a young man wearing what

> > I would call a double curb chain but I don't know what it's

> > called elsewhere. it doesn't show clearly in the picture but

> > alternate links are made of two wires twisted together.

> >  Have fun making it !

> > http://www.northernelectric.ca/medieval/hats/hatpix/christus9_black.jpg

> >

> >  Celia

> Another one that's rather fun, a 10th- 11th c fibula decorated

> with mythical beasts and with three pendants hanging from

> it on loop in loop chain. Some neillo too.

> http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/04/2006/hm4_2_154.html

> Celia



Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 22:59:16 -0400

From: mmagnusol <mmagnusol at nc.rr.com>

Subject: [SCA-AS] Schmuckkatalog Startseite

To: - Adrian Empire in NC - Galloway

      <Shire_of_Galloway at yahoogroups.com>,   "- Barony of Windmasters' Hill"

      <Keep at windmastershill.org>,      - Manx <TheManx at yahoogroups.com>,      -

      Medieval Leather List <medieval-leather at yahoogroups.com>,      - SCA-ARTS

      <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>,  - Austlend - Vikings-NA in NC

      List <Austlend at yahoogroups.com>




Thought you might enjoy looking at some

german medieval jewelry, or predominantly german.

Some other stuff.  Multiple periods.





From: "willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com>

Date: February 5, 2008 10:17:16 PM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] jewelry mavens 1150


For all you jewelry mavens and just interested people. If you want to look at examples go to  Raymond the Quiet's site. Everything is labeled as to the time period and everything seems proper. i like to look at example and try to get my eyes used to a certain time period.


I have been pitching a A&S idea in the Elfsea area for 12 years .I haven't been able to get it OKed and I don't know if it would work, but  I think it would be fun. I would like us to have  a collection contest.This is similar to some of the contest they used to have at the Japanese Court. Those of us who have jewelry collections would chose examples that fit into a peculiar time period and make up our display. We would be judged on how true to the period our collection was . We would be required to defend our collection. For example we would put the collection out and  the populace could view it and then a limited number of collections would get into the finals and the individuals would stand up and describe their pieces where they came from and why they thought they were period.


The really nice thing would we could look at other peoples collections and we could learn about period jewelry.


I also wanted to do this with feast settings. I think something like this would be fun at an A&S event.





From: Ysabeau <lady.ysabeau at gmail.com>

Date: February 5, 2008 10:38:54 AM CST

To: "Barony of Bryn Gwlad" <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] Jewelry recommendation - Milady Jewels


Being the compulsive shopper that I am, I thought I would pass on information for this seller. I wanted to wait to get the jewelry I ordered before I shared because her prices are so good that I was worried that it might be really cheap stuff...but it isn't. It isn't top of the line quality but for what we do, I don't know that we need to have real gold jewelry for what we do (especially if you are as bad as me about losing it) but this is really nice quality faux jewelry and I highly recommend her!





From: "willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com>

Date: December 21, 2009 2:54:52 AM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] neat site for 1400 up jewelry



This site has a bunch of 1400+ paintings? fun to look at.





Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:09:28 -0700 (PDT)

From: Alexandria Stratton <kyrilex at yahoo.com>

To: Merry Rose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>,  Sacred Stone

      <brnsacstone at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [MR] medieval & Elizabethan jewelry store




There's some nice stuff here, if you've got the ducats for it.

-- Isabelle LaFar




Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 18:27:29 -0700 (PDT)

From: Karen <karen_larsdatter at yahoo.com>

To: The Merry Rose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [MR] searching for wine and jewelry references


Rebecca wrote:

<<< I'm also searching for a good book that describes and has a

bunch of pics of SCA relevant jewelry.? It can also have later

periods as well however the preference is information about

pre 1600 European (English, French especially) jewelry.? Have

you seen a good "picture book" with a large variety from a

museum somewhere - perhaps the VA museum? >>>


Actually, the V&A just put out a new book about its jewelry collection -

"Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500"



Also quite good for English jewelry -

"Dress Accessories, c. 1150- c. 1450" (Museum of London)



Depending on what sorts of jewelry you're looking for, there's a bunch of other good ones out, too.? For my additional suggestions, see



Karen Larsdatter



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