tap tap

Usually a lead in to “is this thing on” but nope. I think there is a duck tapping on the door. Not this time. Mamma duck will tap on the door if she has worked out there are people in the house that are not feeding her. Man are they clever little buggers. She has also perched on the window sill, over 2m off the ground, to see what we are up to. And regularly uses the car to get a good view to see why the humans are not feeding her.

Stress is abating, which frees up a little mental energy to think and plan. Still really struggling with fatigue. I made a few IG posts today and am wiped out. But it’s body fatigue. My mind is go go go go go. But that body fatigue is making it hard to get any kind of thought focused anywhere.

But I’m really enthused and excited by the prospect of actually getting my Hat actually and really done. I am going to just put everything aside for a few days, and try, just try to get 5cm of pearls couched. I have lowered my earlier 10cm goal as I think it is possibly not going to happen.

I will though probably re-thread the pearls where possible. I wish the strands were easier to unknot as the thread is strong, there is enough length to wax one end and shuffle the pearls across to wax the other. But I wind up shredding the twists.

So. To the stash of tiny tiny pearls. And wire like beading needles. And pliers. Oh boy will I need pliers.

jewelry

I have a lot of jewelry to make/remake my various Cleves accessories, and finally I have enough to do so!

I really also need to make a few more purses- including the lion head purse) as they feature so much in the 1519 inventory. And at least a few very simple ones to store my jewelry in.

I’m finally in a position to be able to work on all of these again which is so nice πŸ™‚

Part of my self care has been to do a little work on small projects. It started with a project that got a bit too demanding but it was practice. Then I started doing repairs to socks, and now I can start wiring little brass pieces to each other.

a bit up and down

But I’m writing about the up πŸ™‚

I’ve been contacted by someone who has as much interst in Anne as I do and we both sort got very excited when we realised we had independantly come to the same conclusions on some fairly impotrant points.

And with our conversation she shared an image that made me do a little “yass” because it’s another piece of evidence I need to be able to say “this image, yes, this, use this to find Amalia!”

But it does mean the processing of images and files and citing and credit has to be done to be of any use to anyone!
And that may mean importing some posts from this blog and putting them over on the new- search engines do not like repeated content, but I also want to preserve the publication dates of them.

I also have a book on the Takarazuka version of Elisabeth, very exciting, it is with the courier right now. With our Alert level being at 3 this will be a contactless delivery.

Our replacement stove top will be installed tomorrow (it’s been weeks of stress) it’s the exact same model as the original. Also a contactless delivery and installation. I’ll probably stay in the lounge, with mask and gloves ready.

We decided that yes it had to be the same model as we have 12 1/2 years of muscle memory of using it. 12 1/2 years of knowing how to keep it clean (and we really did) so we know that barring something like this happening again we should have another 12 1/2 years, and no retraining ourselves.

It was truly scary watching the element (it’s a ceramic top) turn into a glowing ball of red light. So we might still be a bit risk averse for a while.

I have a little more of the sequinned fabric for my Ode to Adrian Bubble Gown which means I should be able to get that zig zag section cut without too much piecing. I need to figure it out in terms of the number of rolls of pleats I’ll need.

And I do really need to get some blue and purple layers in the hem to make it do the gradient effect.

I’ve had a day of pin rescue yesterday that continues today as well as a bit of sock repair.

Some socks might wind up converted to brace covers. Or sock toys. Hmmm Maybe sock clothes for a sock kitty my friend made…

And my cloth of gold from Sartor for my Anne of Cleves frock is in the air right now.

a bon fine- not anne of cleves motto

I think in Anglo-centric writings and art history there has been a lot of context missing when interpreting the clothing depicted in the portraits of Anne of Cleves.

I have also been looking through modelbuchs at embroidery and found some patterns that seem to be used in art (if not in entirely there are deer/hart that look to be worked in a similar fashion.

I was not able to find any pattern for the scrolling embroidery/weave of the fabric of Anna’s haube which reads “abon fine.”

This phrase has been interpreted to be her personal motto. However this same pattern is found on the clothing of other women across the Germanic states.

https://www.hampel-auctions.com/a/Conrad-Faber-Faber-von-Creuznach.html?a=80&s=193&id=80756&acl=770796
Conrad Faber, “Faber von Creuznach”
PORTRAIT EINER JUNGEN FRAU
Tempera/ Γ–l auf Holz.
53,5 x 38,5 cm.

Conrad Faber was active in Frankfort, which is to the South and East of North Rhine.

The motto also appears on the brusttuch of Barbara Schellenberger in a portrait by Hans Burkmair.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hans_Burgkmair_d._%C5%BD._-_Barbara_and_Hans_Schellenberger_-_WGA03702.jpg
Barbara and Hans Schellenberger
Date Barbara: 1507, Hans: 1505
Current location
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, room 11

Burkmair was active in Augsburg and this portrait is of an Augsburg citizen.

Here the phrase is “a bon fino” In all cases “a bon” is contracted to read as “ABON.”

And on one of my favourite gowns of one of my favourite women in fashion history:

http://www.hdbg.de/portraitgalerie/gemaelde-18-zoom.php
Bildnisdiptychon -Rechte Tafel: Bildnis der Maria Jacobaea von Baden, Herzogin von Bayern
Maler: Hans Wertinger
Datiert: 1526
Bild: Γ–l auf Holz, 69 x 45 – Inv.-Nr. 18

Of special interest is that his appears to be worked in pearls while the previous seem to be woven or embroidered in dark silk on gold, or may even be gold work.

Anne of Cleves has this motto in a similar pattern (capitalised on a geometric scroll effect outline, worked in alternating diagonal directions on a wide band.

Holbein’s portrait quite clearly show the design worked in red on gold. This may be woven as are most bands on hauben from this region. Most commonly they are purely geometric designs but of a similar scale.

Bruyn in particular captures the gold threads of woven patterns of women of Cologne.

St John’s copy of the Bruyn portrait (note the portrait I believe to be the original has a flat pearled baret masking the view of her haube. I believe the copies to not include the hat are copies as they do not perfectly represent the Stickelsche as it appears in work direct from Cologne. )

The design is worked upside down in comparison to all others (and this is repeated in other copies.) It is also worked in a pale colour, in the small digital copies it appears white or off white.

So this leads me to the most recently discovered potential portrait of Anna.

https://www.artuk.org/discover/artworks/anne-of-cleves-15151557-queen-consort-to-henry-viii-134673

This portrait certainly matches facial features quite closely, and the haube looks the same as those in other Bruyn copies.

However after a decade or more of looking at North Rhine paintings what sticks out to me is that this is absolutely not the clothing of Nobility of Cleves, Julich, and Berg. This is absolutely perfect for middle class clothing of Cologne. Very wealthy but very clearly of someone affected by sumputary laws.

Red velvet sleeves and busttuchs are found repeatedly in inventories/documents of burgersfrau of Cologne.

The pendant is absolutely of a common shape, the girdle of a common type, the single wide chain necklance. Even the black on black fabric of her goller (kleyr) and gown.

The partlet under her gown is likewise of a type that puts her firmly in the city of Cologne.

It is also quite late in style. I would put this at 1550s. But this stage the Hat starts to look like a wing nut with a flat top and not just width at the upper side but lower side and is quite flat in regards to depth.

Commemorative paintings are not unusual, what is unusual is to lower the apparent status of the subject. Gold brocade trim on the gown at the very least would mark the subject as of nobility.

The painting looks from the surface to be from Bruyn’s workshop. The curved top of the canvas, the shaded plain background, the flat table top in front of the subject. These are also seen in the other copies of the other Bruyn painting.

Without access to information about the painting itself this asks many more questions than it answers.

In all the copies the words are upside down and in pale paint on warm gold. Could this indicate they are painted by someone not familiar with the physical properties of these hauben? Could that indicate they are all copies from outside of her homeland?

If so how can the details of this portrait match so well to the garments of burgersfrau of Cologne?

If this is by Bruyn (possibly the younger) does this mean the princesses could have worn clothing not indicative of their wealth? Or is this a deliberate statement?

Or could it be simply a portrait of an unrelated woman from Cologne?

There is very little in the way of imagery of real people from Cleves, Julich, and Berg from this time to be found online or printed in books. I have been very lucky to have a copy of the inventory of Jocabe of Juelich-Kleve-Berg but it is very definitely from a time where the Spanish influence has nearly overwritten the local clothing style. I have also been lucky enough to find/be lead to collections of inventories of women of Cologne.

A future blog post will explore the artwork of the Duchy, specifically those of the Duchess Maria and her Daughters (Sibylla, Amalia, and Anna.)

What next?

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by health and trying to finish any project at all right now. I have a few projects I feel I should finish before starting anything new. But the reality is I have stalled on them for the same reason: health.

This doesn’t make it easier, it feels like more pressure. More pressure to do something really great before I can’t at all. More pressure for each event I miss because I fear I’ll still miss the next. This isn’t FOMO like we know it, this is real, this is genuinely not seeing people I care about due to predicatbly unpredictable health issues.

So what would that be. Do I want that to be a project I have been working on for 10 years or start something new that might be easier or more fulfilling.

I have most of my projects in one place, but I also have the clay and plastic and paint stuff out of sight as it’s winter and my workroom is not fun in winter. Especially not mow!

So Maleficent? Ahsoka? Sunburst? Spanish silver ensemble? The Mina? Elissa… Elissa could work. I finally bought another 10m of netting for the support. Just have to figure out where to put it! Probably another layer of short ruffles. I think that makes it 40m of net in total! And then Maleficent horns. Then it’ll be warm enough to go out and work on Ahsoka. I need to wait until my rib heals before even thinking of The Mina as It really feels like the end of the bone of the rib is exposed.

Do I want a break?

I do want to get my Cleves perfect so I am about to sit up in bed and get warm and watch Netflix. I need to clip fabric from the haube as it’s too bulky and I want to also line the neckline jewels properly. SO happy with how beautifully I finished the gown and sleeves πŸ™‚ Might just do some tidying of the shirt sleeves though.

Cleves approaches

I was going to do a lot of machine sewing to get her ready for Coronation so I instead took the time I had to sew by hand. Some of it went really welll, some like the haube is fiddly because the accessories are just not the way we are used to. I need to make my haube tie and also make sure all the gathers are near the crown. I may wind up pleating on my head form instead.

There may even be time to get pearls on the partlet. What is weird is I have a very long neck so I can wear my collar and show the full band of gold.

 

Okay, I now have my second lot of antibiotics 9note, not for the flu but for the secondary bacterial infection I have had since day two of the flu!)

Cleves gown made

My Anna von Kleve Julich & Berg gown is done aside from some hooks and eyes in the skirt.

The bodice and sleeves fit nicely but I am ver narrow, and after the flu moreso… so today I get to hunt for all the wool shoulderpads I can as I will need enhancement.

The hanging sleeves are finally hemmed, woohoo, and the chemise just needs a button and some seam finishing (the sleeves were french seamed originally and so I need to just tidy a few inches between the cuffs and up the arm. I really want to take some excess linen out but will leave that until I’ve worn it a few times. The sleeves look so pretty though and will make a lot of garb look really good. And I know what my nest two frocks are πŸ™‚ So excited.

So it may be that I will have to use a lot of cunning machine work in my velvet Cologne so that I can actually get her done πŸ™‚

And I may be able to get my documentation for her up fairly soon. But I want the Spanish stuff up first as a handy practical guide πŸ™‚

And I’d like to get all my garb patterns webified especially with so many lovely extant patterns out there now to use as references and (please buy these!!!)

 

I do have my haube. I may use my machine and then hand stitch over the top. That’s how I did my belt. The machine acted like basting which is hidden by gold braid. So I’m just waiting to hear back from some people who want to see this in the next few days and then I can have a proper rest and start collection info for my final workshop πŸ™‚

Oh and my jeweled neckline. That’s a lining. Same with my frontal decoration on my stickelsche.

 

Ah yes. The three panel skirt pattern too.

Cleves updates

Firstly some headgear progress πŸ™‚ Becase my pearlwork is so dimensional I need a flat brocade front, and then am able to have a flat but slightly more texture brocade for the haub.

Then we have the brocade for the collar and neckline. Yep, pressed the brocade into a curve! Ditto for the piece above actually πŸ™‚

I’m super happy about the collar πŸ™‚ I keep readjusing the neckline though.

Β 

I have tried it all on and I think I’ll just do some judicious padding of my inner layers as I am rather not as wide across my chest.

The skirt has a flatlining, and I kind of wish I hadn’t but it would require some serious careful unpicking because I used a triple stitch. This makes the diagonal seams as strong as if I had used a backstitch- I’ve had side seams pop a few times and the weight of this hem would definitely do that!

And yes, I have been working on her distinctive partlet πŸ™‚ Pearling is not going to be fun but what the hey?

 

Anne of Cleves back on track :)

I finally bit the bullet and am going to have my own Fealty Chain for the SCA πŸ™‚

I have several enameled medallions on the way to mix in with my hand wired roundels already shared.

These are going to be used to make a full set of neckline jewelery as per the Bruyn and Holbein portraits or Anna von Kleve Julich und Berg πŸ™‚ I’ll be aiming more for the Holbein style as it is very obvious as to the solidity of the border versus the main body. That little wrinkle at her right should (our left) shows this so very well.

I’ve also cleaned brass leaves and flowers and will work on my kranz (wreath) as I should be able to replace nearly all those leaves.

I love this book. It was a very lucky find a good decade ago. It does suffer from an Anglo centric view though. Calling Anna’s clothing unfashionable and not tasteful is just not correct.

She was incredibly stylish.

She just happened to live in a region with nearly equal influence from the Burgundian courts and Saxon courts. And her dress right here? Exactly what you’d expect! The other Bruyn portrait, and less successful copies, also show pretty much what you’d expect!

This is why I love Koehler and Boehn as resources- very continental so you see the general shapes from the Italian states, from the Burgundian/French/English courts, and also Saxon. All those Cranach beauties.

But more to the point there are still assumptions that the annulment was all her fault for not being pretty enough, not being “stylish” enough, not being clever enough.

Need I say more than that she wound up an independent woman with enough money that she was able to spend poorly and still be safe politically and financially? That even though she didn’t know English she managed to survive insulting Henry (by accident but in front of lots of people)?

I suspect then as now it is much easier to understand Dutch if you are used to English and vice versa than it is to speak either. The language Anna spoke is much closer to Dutch than Deutsche then and now.

Sentence structures are so similar I can read personal documents of the region and understand them. Yes I’m looking for clothing terms but I’ve read a heck of a lot of gossip in doing so! And so I think Anna was not only much smarter than the English have made her out to be but understood what was happening right then and there. yes, she would have needed help to write her letters, but she knew the content.

Obviously she couldn’t go back home- but by staying she also had to survive conspiracies. And the court was absolutely full of very dangerous intrigue.

To survive that takes more than just luck or a yielding nature. If she was that easily manipulated she would have been so the rest of her life. And we know she was used politically. A pamphlet written as if it was her was shared on the Continent and yet she survived those too. Not many people survived one bout of politcal manipulations, let alone several attempts to get her back in the marriage game. Yes, there were people who wanted her to be queen long after. In the English court that is.

So no, I don’t think she has had fair shakes!

Okay so this is one of the roundels πŸ™‚ It is a circular pendant with a brass flower in the center, a moonstone bead in the flower, and 6 large pearls around the outside. The laurel medallions are bout the same size so will have the same brass lowers in the centre with garnet beads in the centres. And I’m going to try and get the extra beads and flowers on my stickelsche.

Or I may wind up putting the garnets on these to make them look even less like the white rose used for another order πŸ˜‰ Six petals vs five and obviously not roses, but sumptuary laws are sumptuary laws.

anne of cleves continues

I did manage all the brocade stitching yesterday. I need to press it before stitching the joins but basically six rows of more than 4m a row through metal brocade was a nightmare.

Yes that is overlocking, no it will not remain for long. I do need to get some tape over the seam allowances but this keeps the edges stable until then. It may not be possible to find enough linen to make facings.

I think you may be able to tell the thickness from these photos, but that is a big needle. I need big needles so I can use all my fingers to push the needle through. Usually I can do this in a way that doesn’t require a thimble but this was so grippy… my needles did need to be pushed through at the very end and I can’t use thimbles so I have a bit of healing to do.

note: calluses are not good. They are brittle and less able to resist the pressure from a needle end.

I am looking at a leather thimble for my ring finger though. I sew and write using all my fingers anyway due to how my fingers curve unhelpfully, so I’ll test thimbles on each finger to see what works best.

No I am not able to use short needles please do not recommend ways of using them. I am though looking at just restocking more frequently. Pincushions have the sharpener for steel needles. Well most modern needles are chromed.Β This means you can’t really sharpen them to the same degree. Also the profile of the points can vary so I need to look to see if there is a specific brand and type that i can continue to buy.

I’ll see if I can get some photos/video of why short needles are so bad for me!