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Sneaking in an update

I’m still very much fatigued and have only a short time each day but am working on my essay/class “Will The Real Stickelchen Please Stand Up.” And I’m now dealing with the effects of AI. Before recently google couldn’t translate “stickelchen” nor even “stickle.” But now that people are confidently using it in books (art, history, and fiction) and in blogs and social media google is now confident.

The problem is it’s wrong.

If I take the full set of meanings in dictionaries it’s clearly wrong, because the meanings translate more correctly.

But this means that now when people use google translate they’ll get a result that seems right, but isn’t.

The bigger problems are that my reach is obviously not the same as actual influencers. And it’s power of numbers when it comes to AI. So I’m getting more tired dealing with formatting and style in order to get all the information out there and without errors. Hah!

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Some good news

Mr Carlo has made so much progress that today he got himself across the lounge three times and even meowed to me! His little mrr-ow? with the upward inflection that sounds like a question. He’s normally so chatty that this is absolutely a good sign. He’s now within the healthy weight range, but still low, so I think the vets want to make sure it’s stable.

We both are dealing with neuropathy from about the lower spine/hip, and probably for the same reason some erosion in our spines. Yeah I haven’t really written much about this but it sometimes makes it hard to walk as the numbness can work in a weird way that it feels like my hip and knees are not bending the right way. But it means I have a bit of understanding of what he’s going through too.

So I’m also trying to work on my own health because on top of this lower limb shenanigans I’ve been dealing with undiagnosed POTS* for a while. I need to swap from lying, to sitting, to standing to limit any kind of pressure from my lower spine but that’s meant my pulse shoots up with each and takes ages to come back down.

I do indeed use breathing exercises- I am a singer so breathing techniques are a thing I just do- and it does help me get through that without becoming anxious.

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Mr Carlo has developed a disability

Of all the disabilities it has to be the same as what I’m currently in a waiting list to understand. We both have neuropathy in our legs. We both seem to have degeneration in the (very) lower spine. Mine is made worse if I have any compression at any point from neck to knees, but his seems to be permanent. He also has had a really sudden health crash that obscured just how very determined he is. When he is unwell he just stops eating. Which, again, is what I do. I took a chance on a product that seemed to be the equivalent of what I need when I get to that point. It’s basically fluids, protein, and sugar in a very tasty sippy (or licky in his case) form.

It was exactly what he needed. In fact he’s even eating his preferred hard biscuit food. He has turned the emergency corner I think. He is so very tired so I’m under no pretences that he is cured.

My sleep is just…. but he seems to have learned that if he stands on my feet I pick him up to get water. If I feel him next to my feet that means he wants food. If he stands on my chest he needs the litter tray. He really has learned that I’ll loop my hands under him to let him get back on my bed himself and I’ll protect him from falling.

He is such a scrapper.

Boo was too.

I am too.

It’s not about denying this really important part of how you interact with the world and even more importantly how the world responds to you. It’s knowing that and doing what you can.

I’m worried that his habit of jumping is going to cause more injury to his spine, so during the day he has the entire lounge to himself. The sofa seats are low, he remembers where his water and food and tray are, all low to the ground.

Boo being deaf was also disabled and we also needed to find a way to gradually open up his world in a way that would prepare him.

If this emergency period is coming to an end I really hope we can try one of the two treatment options. Healthcare for pets is under pressure just as much as for people. It’s still a bit of a difficult wait.

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Another figure traced back

And another figure I’ve been interested in a very long time. It’s from The Book of Costume by Davenport. Like my figure from the Eton and/or Escorial Codices I have regularly tried searches based on the information provided in the figure descriptions. Normally a collection name . Even a reverse image search didn’t work.

Until it did. But not her. This is a pair of stove tiles at the Boston museum of fine arts and the details of the background match so perfectly. And now I realise why I thought she might have been part of an architectural element, the size of these tiles “68.6 cm (27 in.)” mean that yes the glazing blurs some fine details but they still show through.

DESCRIPTION Tile with portrait of Jacobea Maria of Baden.
PROVENANCE Igo Levi (b. 1887 – d. 1961), Lucerne. April 11-12, 1962, Levi sale, Weinmüller, Munich, lots 385-6. Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 – d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 – d. 2008), New York; 2006, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2006)

Stove Tile – Works – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (

But wait, there’s more.

Description Figure of Sybilla of Saxony, on yellow ground, in shell-topped arch in blue and green.
Green skirt with yellow, blue and brown bands, blue bodice with green, white blouse,
plumed hat.
Provenance Igo Levi (b. 1887 – d. 1961), Lucerne; April 11-12, 1962, Levi sale, Weinmüller, Munich. R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 – d. 1977), New York; 1962, gift of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA

Stove tile – Works- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Firstly hooray for these two depictions of powerful women because despite idealised faces these tiles were important works of art that were about political connections and aspirations and that is predominantly through clothing in these kinds of works.

Secondly this now lets me find my figure through an entirely new term to me, and let’s me imagine just how very vibrant this tile must have been. But first I need to prove she is on a tile, and hopefully identify who she is.

But I needed the translation and google translate did help: Ofenkachel I also tried the reverse to find the entire stoves in case any view revealed more uses of these particular kinds of tiles depicting clothing as revealing identity.

And wow. Also, oh no, another folder of new to me information including from archaeological finds, and unfinished tiles that really do reveal such an interest in essentially pretty clothing because aside from depictions of well known nobility, there are tiles that mimic the wedding dancer prints (a totally separate post for that.)

But I did eventually find her.

Datensatz 71298056
Aufsberg, Lala: Ofenkachel-Paar, 1961/1964
Beschreibung: Ofenkachel-Paar. Keramik, farbig glasiert. Nürnberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Deutsche Fotothek

So this must be the photo used after the sale/auction of the Igo Levi collection when the GNM purchased it. Unfortunately that’s as far as I can go as I can’t seem to search for either the provenance nor an Accession number. I may have better luck trying to identify her partner. Her clothing includes sleeves pinned back and her haube is distinctly shaped which reminds me of the Aldegrever wedding dancers. But I do think I’ll have better luck looking for his beard and short hair. They are almost certainly copied from printed works.

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I found her

In 2004 I took notes and recorded an image of an illustration from a book I believe I gravitated to as an exhibition catalogue about Felipe II. But my notes are lost. All I have is the artist name and that it was an illumination. This is a long post as this is sometimes the amount of work I need to track down any individual image or source.

In the years since I found only a few examples of Jörg Breu d.J.s work but yes that included two illuminated books. One of martial arts, and the other a family book of the Fuggers. Neither of which contain this illustration. He was important in Augsburg so I kept wondering how much of this probably ancestral figure used clothing known to him, and how much was made up.

I actually grabbed what information I could as I had seen sleeves like this before worn by Maria Jakobäa von Baden, Duchess of Bavaria.

Sammlung | Herzogin Maria Jacobaea von Bayern (

This painting is very much about going to the very limit of sumptuary laws even for a duchess. And her hat. Come on. How much do I need one. I am making one, but that’s for another blog.

Every few years I try various searches but finally this year of curating enough manuscripts to get the actual information I need for my Anne of Cleves research.

I don’t know why but The Story of Lucretia by BREU, Jörg the Younger ( made me think “what if?”

Manuscript (Ms. 92), Eton College Library.

Needless to say I tried all the terms in this page:

“Commonly referred to as the ‘Antiquitates’ of Hans Tirol. A possible formal title is given on f. [7]v, of ‘Sentencia heroaldi’. This accompanies the portrait of Hans Tirol pointed towards the dedication to Henry VIII.” and “This volume belongs with a further three volumes produced by Hans Tirol, entitled ‘De nobilitate et ortu heroum’: Eton MSS 93-95.”

Round and round I went, finding articles on JSTOR- the greatest interest in this and other manuscripts is in historic deeds, and non-figurative art- and then found a link to a British Museum held sketch of dancers by Breu (Augsburg was big on dance.)

Again! Puffed and paned upper sleeve and trumpeting lower.

But more than that her hem has the same decoration as the probable Eton College image, and the Lucretia from the same, and there are the same curving details to the top of her bodice. Here though she wears a contemporary set of hauben and barret. These probably are his fast fillers but were used on two figures with very different uses.

So you can imagine how exciting that has been. If we didn’t have the Maria Jacobae painting these figures might be dismissed as highly fanciful.

I still really wanted to know if my hunch was right.

I found exhibition catalogues in online bookstores, the exhibition site using the way back machine, and nowhere could I find more images that hinted if my hunch was right.

And then yesterday. I somehow I spotted another solution I must have skimmed several times.

Der Codex entstand in der Werkstatt des Augsburger Malers Jörg Breu des Jüngeren. Eine 1547 entstandene, weniger umfangreiche Fassung des Werks, die dem spanischen König Philipp II. gewidmet war, der Escorial-Codex, befindet sich im spanischen Escorial.

Eton-Codex – Wikiwand

The codex was created in the workshop of the Augsburg painter Jörg Breu the Younger. A less extensive version of the work, created in 1547 and dedicated to the Spanish King Philip II, the Escorial Codex, is in the Spanish Escorial.

Eton-Codex – Wikiwand translated with google translate.

Oh no. Yet another codex I needed to hunt down using all the names it’s been known by across time and space. “Codex Escurialensis” with the date 1549 lead me to a facsimile with the titles of each volume. A great page for tracking down more information but nothing to help me check the style of the figures.

I had tried searching the Escorial library but just was not in the right section. So I still didn’t have the shelfmark. So I try another image search for “”Heráldica y origen de la nobleza de los Austrias” El Escorial

And oh my goodness. There she is. In a tiny thumbnail of a copy of the facsimile held open to her page.

She’s in the first thumbnail of the third row. in this screenshot. She’s in the top of the first page, and in the middle. Maybe the image from the site will help:

Inicio Ediciones Facsimilares Otros Facsímiles Historia genealógica y heráldica de los emperadores, reyes y nobles de Europa, c. 1547

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! My instinct was right, and oh did you catch the price? There were less than 1000 of these facsimiles made so no, I’m not able to afford one unless it’s an ex university library copy severely defaced and even then… nope.

But finally, I found the correct section of the El Escorial Liabrary!!!! And yes via the facsimile, so taking a bit of a chance I type in “Breu” in the search field, then selected “manuscritos” from the filters and… There they are!

Two have been digitised:

Historia Nobilitatis et Torneamentorum / per Othonem Cardinalem et Episcopum Augustanum
por Truchsess von Waldburg, Otto , Cardenal (1514-1573) | Tirol, Hans (ca. 1505-ca. 1576) | Breu, Jörg (ca. 1510-1547).
Idioma: Latger
Editor: Augsburgo , ca. 1547
Acceso en línea:
Disponibilidad: Ítems disponibles para préstamo: Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial Signatura topográfica: 28-I-12.


Historia originis et successionis regnorum et imperiorum a Noe usque ad Carolum V
por Truchsess von Waldburg, Otto , Cardenal (1514-1573) | Tirol, Hans (ca. 1505-ca. 1576) | Breu, Jörg (ca. 1510-1547).
Idioma: latger
Editor: Augsburgo , ca. 1547
Acceso en línea:
Disponibilidad: Ítems disponibles para préstamo: Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial Signatura topográfica: 28-I-11.

So naturally I get scroll happy, hoping my girl (now girls as I want to see them all) will pop up. Now these are incredible books, with so much valuable information including for my own research, but as I suspected the volume I need is actually:

Historia originis et nobilitatis Hispaniae et Germaniae etc. / per Othonem Episcopum Augustanum
por Truchsess von Waldburg, Otto , Cardenal (1514-1573) | Tirol, Hans (ca. 1505-ca. 1576) | Breu, Jörg (ca. 1510-1547).
Idioma: latger
Editor: Augsburgo , ca. 1547
Disponibilidad: Ítems disponibles para préstamo: Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial Signatura topográfica: 28-I-10.

And that makes sense. I suspected she was dressed in an Augsburg style after all.

But what of the other images you find in an image search. Well another seller of facsimiles includes a page that is very familiar in style and that’s because Jorg Breu also illustrated the Fuggerbuch- a genealogy book for the very rich Fuggers. Of Augsburg.

These pages are so useful for heraldry, for calligraphy, and is absolutely helping me finally settle on how to do my pattern book! I get to keep my prefered font but include a latinised font “translation.”

As already mentioned Das Ehrenbuch der Fugger – (BSB Cgm 9460) was illustrated by Breu and uses this same person behind their arms, in various examples of contemporary and “ancient” dress. has the simplest access to all the images, of which there are many.

So while I’m no closer to knowing who she was, I have the information needed while waiting, and hoping that the final volume of the Escorial Codex or Eton Codex are digitised.

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At 13 I had two extremely important and life altering discussions with my high school principle.

They both were about my potential.

The first was essentially to counter the heavy social pressure to give up learning before the end of high school. I was told you could learn how to do anything here so here is another chance to do what *you* want. But more that than in a school with the resources that gave me those chances. Chem lab? Got. Bio labs? Got. Technical drawing? Got. Drama space and books and teachers? Got.

So I changed my classes to be STEM first but with a heavy side dose of arts

I needed my second discussion because I was 13 and the peer pressure was to waste time at school. I was goofing off and even skipped some classes.

That second discussion didn’t just help me, it meant I asked was that actually worth losing the future I wanted? And then wow, I wanted to give so many people that same chance and then the follow up chance at least.

And it wasn’t phrased as I’ll end up in “bad” jobs if I didn’t- just that the chances here were due to having the people and infrastructure to help me do what I really truly wanted to do.

I actually got to follow two, TWO!, paths at the same time. I ignored all the free time in senior school and filled them in with more classes

I ended up with tertiary qualifications in art and in science.

In many ways I surpassed expectation by doing both, and pretty well even if not in the highest grades.

I knew that was the cost.

But yeah.

I think about that a lot.

All the schools without the resources for each student to have what they need.

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Sewing machine fixed

Oh goodness! My sewing machine stopped being able to do a zig zag stitch a while back. It was all a bit hard to think I might need to save to replace her given how much work she saves me, so for a good month or so I’ve just not felt confident and have felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t find any explainers as to what might be going on so I figured I’d start with the advice I give everyone when their machine isn’t operating as expected- clean for dust as it gets everywhere especially places you can’t see.

For my machine this is exactly what was going on. I did have to sacrifice some of the grease as dust absolutely got embedded in some. Luckily it’s over the disks that change the stitch type and I should be able to safely replace that.

But it totally shifted my mood when I was able to use my machine, and the very generous width the zig zag offers, to make over a dress I got second hand. I was also able to close a hole in the seam of my super cute A line tunic in violet, teal, and black striped mix. I realised why I was drawn to this fabric only recently when mum brought out her last pair of knitted footie-slippers Oma made which have the same marled pattern.

But more than that suddenly my options for how to get the brocade onto my velveteen for my Cleves gown has opened wide again. Same with hemming. And I absolutely can think about my other pieces languishing in storage boxes because this was such a barrier.

But yes. Dust, it’s nearly always dust.

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Cautious optimism

I am currently doing an impression of a children’s TV presenter from the 60s or 70s with a long sleeved red skivvy and my teal-black-purple tunic over the top.

Yes! I’ve emerged from the fuzzy dressing gown!

My fibro really get very grumpy when I wear anything wool or acrylic next to my skin. Silly me totally forgot I have a few super soft layers not just my merino ones. I’ll figure some way to use them again. Even more research is pointing to a provable immune involvement that I really hope leads to treatment to prevent symptoms not mask them. Though I’m grateful for that.

My Anne of Cleves research is developing well. It still holds up as novel even as several books and articles use some of the lesser known sources. It’s handy as I can quote the sources and have a bit of a guide as to how they have been used, and include these books in my bibliography.

I’ve got hold of some lovely big art books and with no real reason have once again had a handful of useful images out of hundreds. This is an absence of evidence, not evidence of absence. When a book about different audiences for books entirely ignores the vast libraries of manuscripts owned by women within those audiences. Students? Not university but taught by tutors. Aristocrats? Well nobility mostly but same deal. Monks? Nuns. is a great place to get and idea of just how much there is, though I think a bit limited by different digitisation efforts in different countries, which has been my issue. I suspect an absence of evidence too, not not evidence of absence as has been suggested. When you have the incredible BNF digitisation project then your manuscripts skew French.

So I’m almost ready to move my digital library into the folders of the women who owned them.

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To do: SCA frocks

I’ve got a few projects that are really inspiring me. And they all tie in to my hyper focus on Anne of Cleves and her contemporaries. Three North Rhine, one Spanish/Portugese, and one Tudor.

I then have a few more once these are sorted.

a) One of my favourite gowns from the start of my journey in actually making frocks from this era is currently in pieces. Now I’ve had a horrible few years that has lead to some self destructive behaviour, and defaulting to trying to perfect my work means undoing all the good with it. Yet this time, I didn’t have those negative thoughts, more excitement for what I can do.

I’ve always had a bit of trouble with this frock for me, even though I can prove this kind of falling off the shoulder issue, it’s not something I am happy with combined with a fairly chunky edge to the brocade trim.

I now have some lovely trim to use, nice and flat real metal, diamond al over pattern, left over from my Bruyn Anne of Cleves gown. I’ll still need to sew the trim to a strip of wool as the circle skirt is just a little too short so needs a little extension. I may need to add an extension to the front of the skirt as yes, I’m going to convert the gown into a teal version of the Holbein portrait.

The upper sleeves are still a great shape. I just need to use my fab stash of linen and linen-ramie mix canvas stash. I will need to recycle my big orange frock for this- I hope not, my heuk should be enough for half the skirt and then the other half can be pieced from a pretty generous set of off cuts. And even more offcuts can line the bodice and sleeves.

The skirt is a bit short because the velvet pile is so thick that it moved about when I originally made it. I also didn’t trust my ability to

b) The Bruyn portrait frock and accessories. I’m using the actual original portrait, which means I need to put my research up as to what the real painting is. Because I keep reading even recent works that stick with the St John’s portrait as the original.

I have though got a few authors I want to link to and to quote as I think that they are on the same track as me, even if they came to a different conclusion, and that conclusion relies on what is the original portrait.

c) My glorious crimson and black Cleves gown. I’m excited about this too. I think I’ve got the faux ermine lining cut. I had enough also for my blue wool gown as well. I need to do so much basing for both as the Faux-mine is horizontally stretchy, with very obvious downward facing fur.

d) My Mencia de Mendoza/Eleanora of Austria inspired gown. So excited. Similar in cut to my kirtles so making it from brocatelle is very exciting.

e) My Catherine Howard gown. These last two are firsts for me, but not from inexperience with cutting theory or art and other forms of research.

f) A gown in pink for a Citizen of Kleve-Juelich-Berg.

g) a pink gown based on a Cranach painting of Judith.

h) The Elizabeth I coronation robes or maybe a fictional ensemble. The later would be such an awesome mix of historic an fictional accounts.

i) My farthingale- I will need to wash my red wool hem protection, hot-pink casings and green base to really know if there will be dye transfer if I need to wash it all in the future.

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Research milestone

It’s amazing isn’t it just how much work you have to do to support a fairly simply hypothesis when the pieces are unpredictable? Today I finally got the last of the obviously French/Lowlands 16thC manuscripts sorted. In 2004 I was able to read a book on calendarium(s) and today all I have left from my list of MSS to find is one clearly German book. Going by the clothing I suspect is Bavarian.

All that is left is to get the official scanning institution pages saved as PDFs so I can be offline and still work on citations.

It’s also an amazing window into just how many manuscripts were owned by individual women. So many! I already have noticed an asymmetry when it comes to the most useful genres/fields of study for each region. Portraits and donor paintings were HUGE business in Cologne, but there are so very few “genre” paintings like you get in the Lowlands. Manuscripts are also in short supply, imported yes, local, no. Written printed works HUGE, printed illustrations, not so much.

So I’ll soon be able to separate out the most important MSS for my work, and set aside the rest for later.

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