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.


Conrad Faber, “Faber von Creuznach”
Tempera/ Öl 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.


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:


Bildnisdiptychon -Rechte Tafel: Bildnis der Maria Jacobaea von Baden, Herzogin von Bayern
Maler: Hans Wertinger
Datiert: 1526
Bild: Öl 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.



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 Stickelsche (Sticklenchen) 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.)

the cleves hat

After years and years of searching I agree, yes, stickelchen does refer to headgear. It’s been harder to confirm than might be thought, however dictionaries of the region during the time frame that the term was used are rare. But one has been found. A copy and a transcription.

“sticksel” seems to be the original term. But it still may refer to the band at the front, not the bulk of it. 

Why is is so difficult?

A “stuck” is a piece and “stick” can refer to a pointed stick, literally, or embroidery.

And “chen” is a diminuitive. Also “gin.”

So little embroidery just doesn’t seem correct for a rather large hat.

And at the time “perlen” was most frequently used to describe pearled pieces.

Many of the headpieces were pearled, or made from gold fabric, or covered in netted work. Rarely do they seem to be embroidered in a general sense.

The front piece more regularly is decorated in pearls or jewels.

Clothing is also tough. There are lots of garments, but very little in the way of definition. Rock might be a gown or it may be a skirt alone. And the lovely huge inventory I have is full of spanish styles!

I’ll just have to take time to read the full texts not just skim! 😉

books and jewelry

Today was spent diving into auction sites. So exciting and exhausting finding better quality images than before. It feels a lot like the work I do to rebuild my site- retreading old ground for not much reward.

But today also a book that has finally cemented how I want to approach my own book:

Le Manuel des Marchans moult utile a trestous. Ghent: Pierre Cesar pour Victor le Dayn, 1545.

It’s a merchants hand book. And it just says so much about what was important for a merchant at the time.

Firstly it’s very nice, but also sturdy.

There are tools!!!! In the front a sundial and compass!!!! This together with the lists of locations and dates of large faires really highlights that trade was full of travel! Ditto the pages of coins- for identifying/converting local currency.

And the back! Scales for money.

There are also pages for sketching! With silverpoint.

I mean it’s so wonderful, and absolutely comparable to a modern day netbook or ipad. Or what I used to have at Uni which was like a filofax. Or even a phone case with slots for money, cards, photos and possibly a mini ruler etc.

So I am considering creating a portable sewing/cutting/pattern collecting book. A premade base with elements for individualisation.

I already planned on my plates being able to be individually coloured, but now I can look at making some portable tools to go along with it! And extra pages to record dress and patterns of dress when travelling.

It’s literally the boost needed for the weekend after feeling a little overwhelmed and a bit defeated.


While auction hunting some of those better images have also made it easier to decide on what jewels to make for my Nordrhine gear 🙂 There are at least two variations on what looks like a wheeled mount with a jewel in the middle. And lots of examples of non mounted foliage.

I also made a full list of all the plates I need to do. At 19 so far. Got at least two more bodices to capture and two skirt plates (increasing/decreasing waists and trains) and still a lot of sleeves (so happy with the spiral paned sleeves though 🙂

But I am tired and my hands are starting to hurt.

I do also need to make diagrams and figure drawing to match each. Luckily we have the Lemberg finds and many illustrated examples of a fitted chemise that it will make it easier to do all of this. A shirt tends to hide a lot.

Oh! I also need to get a few shirts transferred to this new format.

printing plates

Not my own plates this time, though I did get my spiral sleeves sorted.

Collecting modelbooks and books of trades really helps with interpreting art. Today after tracking back an image in a document (reverse image search is getting very good!) and then finding the original I was able to find even more images of people in hand crafts.

The book today is often refered to a book on lacework, but it’s clear the patterns are quite far reaching.

Title : [Libro primo-Libro secondo] De rechami per elquale se impara in diuersi modi lordine e il modo de recamare, cosa no mai piu fatta ne strata mostrata, elquale modo se insegna al lettore voltando la carta. Opera nova. : [estampe, livre de modèles]

Publisher : [Alessandro Paganini] (Italie)

Publication date : 1532

Description : Référence bibliographique : Courboin, 1041-1042

Rights : public domain Identifier : ark:/12148/btv1b10537222v

Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE 4-LH-102

Relationship : http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb40354751t

Provenance : Bibliothèque nationale de France

Date of online availability : 09/05/2016

This is by Paganino Paganini and according to Wikipedia he pretty much lived and worked all his life in Italy (Brescia then Venice) along with his son.

The works suggest a great deal of contact with German engravers. These scenes of transfering a design to fabric are quite a neat mix of elements one would expect of a German and Italian engraver.

The low slung braids and shaped skirts of one and the evenly rounded linen headdress of the other.

However there is a plate that appears a few times that gets down right Cologne! It is entirely probable the plates were created separately to the text that fills the space.

The timing is perfect for a mixing of cultures, Venice attracted a lot of German printers, and Durer famously traveled and recorded dress of women from the region.

Exactly why there are women in extremely North Rhine clothing has not been able to be uncovered in an afternoon, however the sculptural strip of linen at the front of the headdresses are so very iconic. The key feature being the wings and square frame effect.


This figure even has the braids of an unmarried woman at the front her her headdress but there appears to be a tail to the back that does not appear in North Rhenish dress.

And there is a family connection:

PAGANINI, Paganino
di Angela Nuovo – Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 80 (2014)

Sposò Cristina, figlia di Francesco Della Fontana (Franz Renner da Heilbronn), stampatore tedesco attivo a Venezia dal 1471 al 1486, una parentela insolita nel panorama della stampa veneziana, dove la tendenza era a legarsi e imparentarsi secondo la provenienza geografica.


He married Cristina, daughter of Francesco Della Fontana (Franz Renner from Heilbronn), German printer active in Venice from 1471 to 1486, an unusual kinship in the panorama of the Venetian press, where the tendency was to bind and relate according to geographical origin.


more plates

Today I tackled the gored skirt plates and a pieced sleeve.

Yesterday I took in some clothes (cut, stretch stitch, and overlocked, all needed new bobbins/rethreading.)

I made a small mistake of going on twitter. I follow a lot of science communicators and today was a day of special comments they received.

I’ve also tried to check what I can do for my hands, and currently I have fingerless gloves. it makes it harder to type, I think it’s the pressure of the cuffs. So I’m trying to use my left hand for typing and right hand only for backspace etc.

I’ll give hands a good break before going back to do the last skirt plates. Basically adding trains and turnbacks. Sleeves are kind of fun. I really want to get those twisted Austrian/Anna von Kleve types 🙂

And I’ll definitely have to get the assembly plates sorted as well this week.

I’m also trying to remake my red velveteen Cologne gown 🙂 And really want to make the extreme wingnut shape headdress 🙂

Finally, I washed and tinted my hair again. Just need to tidy the hairline a bit.

cleves and co

I really should just publish what I have and build on it later. It’s hard though as I really want to do everything at once. But I don’t even have good photos of my early work! I’ve passed so much of it on but really have no decent photos of any of it. So I really feel like my own history is lacking, let alone how that feeds back to me from the public. But it does sort of mean I’d like to remake a few things in new fabric…

That said, just looking up frazzled frau on google brings my old tripod site up! I really need to see if I can open that up again 🙂 Oh man, looking at all the lovely comments about my old site really makes me want to get her all properly revved up again. If you like something tell the person 🙂

It’s tough because there has been a massive influx of images in the last few years. But I do have pin boards, and my tumblr is still there, but a bit forgotten, sorry!


I have some in progress boards to come up, but it’s rare that any pin I add is uncredited. I try and find the most current location. Usually that means the best quality but not always. But it means people finding and bookmarking pins should be able to just click and go at their convenience.  Even so, some museums change their content enough that I will have to go back and check some. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently upgraded their databases to an amazing degree, but it means old links do not work and often there is not enough information to quickly find the item. But it’ll be worth it 🙂

I am more tired than ever, RA does not get kinder the longer you have it, it generally just becomes more chronic than traumatic. But the fatigue really is difficult to manage. So it means all research takes a massive toll even before I get them in some sort of order.

But I have enough new information that yes. It will be done this year. As are all my patterns. Yesterday I overlapped my own bodice pieces to see if I can create a modifiable pattern. Yes. And it does work literally for every single garment I have made if looked at from perspective of scale and engineering.

So that is extremely exciting! I knew that I used previous patterns for newer gear but I also found some experimenting that worked (shifting to side seams) and some that worked by virtue of a bit of luck with fabric choice and use of stay tape (pretty accurate for a lot of gear when viewed as narrow woven goods used to stabilise a neckline.)

I think this will work a lot better than the Victorian workshops due to the reduction of seam lines. Victorian bodices do rely on all the seams even if some are less customised than others. Simply cutting fabric into a curved seam changes the engineering properties to a degree that is very hard to understand. But it both stabilises and adds stretch. There is usually enough change in the properties to be able to fit to a back with very little change. It’s usually possible with the CB and side seams with a pattern block that already has som curve for the shoulder blades and lower back built in.

So having seams in places that are easy to self adjust or have someone else work on is great!

I will get some more watercolour board this week as I have now got enough of a pattern block for those pieces, and enough thumbnail sketches of where to measure that there is enough to commit to good quality paper 🙂

more progress

Yesterday I got my skirt templates drawn on nice card stock. this makes it easier to hand, and I’m able to use a compass to do curves 🙂

Today I managed to scale up all my bodices currently made so I can see the over all picture of what I have done. I knew I basically built everything from the patterning developed for my kampfrau so it was interesting to see how true this was. Only my open front dresses seem to deviate from this.

I need to get a pattern from my new Cleves dresses too. So will try and do that today as well. It’s interesting construction wise in the absolute simplicity.

duerer’s portrait of a girl from cologne

The portrait of Anne of Cleves is perhaps the most well known example of headwear worn in the region of the North Rhine. It is found in Gelderland, Jüllich-Cleve-Berg, as well as Cologne. There are dozens of portraits especially of women of Cologne wearing highly decorated as well as plain linen variations.

Finding any direct link between the written evidence and the visual is vanishingly rare. Wills, testaments, inventories do not include any artwork as they are official documents. Personal accounts are quite common by the sixteenth century in the Netherlands and Germany, however most again are not furnished with illustrations!. In the absence of a Matthäus Schwarz style clothing book it is the context of these written accounts that carries meaning.

A silverpoint Drawing by Albrecht Durer has often been referred to as a record of the style of headwear worn. The illustration itself compares well with contemporary art of the region at that time, however the words to the upper left of the entire work has drawn differing interpretations.

National Gallery of Art, Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina, accessed March 14, 2018

This silverpoint drawing has text to the left of the girl from Cologne, while there is text to the right of Agnes Dürer.


The text beside Agnes seems to be fairly consistently correctly transcribed as “awff dem rin mein weib pey popart” (auf dem Rhein mein weib bei Boppard/my wife at Boppard on the Rhine.)


However the text beside the girl has been mostly imperfectly transcribed. As written it appears as “Colnisch gepend” however variations of the spelling in other written works about this drawing can include “Cölnisch” or “gepent” this does not change the meaning however it does create some difficulty in tracking down all sources and determining what “gepend” means.

Another drawing by Durer of a woman in clothing of Nurenberg is inscribed “Also ist das gepent und kleidung der erbern frauen zu nornberg.”

Das erbar gepent: zur ständischen Kleidung in Nürnberg im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert
Zander-Seidel, Jutta
In: Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 27 (1985), pp. 119-140

Ständische Kleidung in der mittelalterlichen und frühneuzeitlichen Stadt
Zander-Seidel, Jutta
In: Terminologie und Typologie mittelalterlicher Sachgüter: das Beispiel der Kleidung ; internationales Round-Table-Gespräch, Krems an der Donau, 6. Oktober 1986 . Krems an der Donau 1988, pp. 59-75 (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse: Sitzungsberichte ; 511)

Here the general term “headdress” is used.

Dürer als Zeichner und Aquarelist
Hans Tietze,1951

Technik, Metallstift auf grauviolett grundiertem Papier (W. 814 = L. 64) ; es ist ein kühles und sachliches Bildnis der Matrone, die noch einmal im Reiseskizzenbuch erscheint, diesmal vielleicht mehr, um ihre imposante Reiseschaube mit dem Cölnisch gepend, dem zierlichen Kopfputz des jungen Mädchens, auf demselben Blatt zu kontrastieren (Abb. 74).

(google translate) Technique, metal pencil on gray-violet primed paper (W. 814 = l. 64); it is a cool and matter-of-fact image of the matron, which reappears in the travel sketchbook, perhaps more this time, to contrast her imposing travel mask with the Cölnisch gepend the delicate headdress of the young girl, on the same page (ill. 74).


In this context it is easy to understand that Durer indeed intended to refer to the headdress of the girl. It does appear that the term is used in Saxony and Bavaria along with the term “gewand” that usually refers to a gown or robe.

Lanndtßordnung der Fürstlichen Graffschafft Tirol
Heiliges Römisches Reich Ferdinand I. (Kaiser)
Silvan Otmar, 1532 – 46 pages

Ond der müter Gewand/Gepend von Clainat auf die Döchtern fallen:

Schweizerisches Idiotikon: Wörterbuch der schweizerdeutschen Sprache, Volume 10
Friedrich Staub, Ludwig Tobler, J. Huber, 1930 –

.[Stirbt der Mann vor der Frau, so erhält diese] ir claider, clainoter, ring, kettin, Silbergeschirr, gepend, gest., verschrotten gewand. [Stirbt die Frau vorher und sind keine Kinder vorhanden] soll im volgen und werden ain tusent guldin haimstür . . . das übrig guot . . . sampt der morgengab, klaider, klainoter, ring, kettin, Silbergeschirr, bettgewat, gepend, gest., verschrotten gewand . . . soll ouch volgen und werden iren nechsten gesipten fründen.’ 1565, Z (Ehevertrag). S. noch Bd IV 1334u

(google translate) [If the man dies in front of the woman, he receives this] ir claider, clainoter, ring, kettin, silverware, gepend, gest., Scrapped robe. [If the woman dies before and there are no children] should be in the crowd and become ain tusent guldin haimstür. , , the rest guot. , , sampt the dawn, klaider, klainoter, ring, kettin, silverware, bedweave, gepend, gest., scrapped robe. , , ought to obey, and will give birth to the next most clever. ‘ 1565, Z (Ehevertrag). S. noch Bd IV 1334u


However his use of the word “geband” is not always translated perfectly. Most commonly writers have described “gepend/gepande” as ribbons/ties/binding.

The Complete Drawings of Albrecht Dürer: 1520-1528
Walter L. Strauss, 1974 pg Page 2096

“Next to these portraits, Dürer noted: “Colnisch gepend /… [Cologne ribbonry / …”

Even though the same term is used in a description of the study of the woman in her linen Sturz (as discussed above.).

“Durer’s inscription reads: “Also ist das gepend und kleidung der erbern frauen zu nornberg””


Another writer quotes directly from the Grimm dictionary of 1815 but doesn’t distinguish between different uses of the word.

Da sah ich viel köstliche Dinge: Albrecht Dürers Reise in die Niederlande
Gerd Unverfehrt, 2006 – History – 260 pages

Die von Winkler an das Ende der Reise datierte Silberstiftzeichnung W. 780 zeigt links das Brustbild einer jungen Frau mit der Inschrift »Cölnisch gepend« (»bei frauen bänder zum aufbinden und schmücken des haares, dann kopfputz der frauen überhaupt«). Die Haube findet sich wiederholt auf Gemälden des Kölner Malers Barthel Bruyn.

(google translate)The silver pen drawing W. 780 dated to the end of the journey by Winkler* shows on the left the bust of a young woman with the inscription “Cölnisch gepend” (“on women’s ribbons to tie up and decorate the hair, then headdress of women at all“). The hood can be found repeatedly on paintings by the Cologne painter Barthel Bruyn.

The dictionary is available in digital form with many other uses of the term “gebende”:

Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm.

GEBENDE, gebände,

4) bei frauen bänder zum aufbinden und schmücken des haares, dann kopfputz der frauen überhaupt, genauer mhd. houbetgebende, ahd.houbitgibenti serta, auch houbitpendil sertum Graff 3, 138es heiszt aber noch nhd., landschaftlich bis heute auch einfach haarband (s. d.). 

(Google translate) in women’s bands for untying and decorating the hair, then head-dress of the women in general, more precisely mhd houbetgebende, ahd.houbitgibenti serta, also houbitpendil sertum Graff 3, 138. but it is still nhd., to this day also simple hair band (sd)


Other writers have used the ties/binding translation as well.

Dürer’s hausfrau.Ein kritiſcher Beitrag zur Biographie des Künſtlers, Von M. Thauſing: 

Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, Volume 4, 1869

Auf der anderen Seite befindet ſich links das Bruſtbild eines Mädchens mit eigenthümlich aufgebundenem Haare, darüber die Worte: „Cölniſch gepend“ (Gebände),

(google translate) On the other side, on the left, is the half-length portrait of a girl with curiously tied hair, above it the words: “Cölnisch gepend” (Gebände),

Dürer: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Kunst
Moriz Thausing, 1876

 “Es zeigt auf der einen Seite den hier nachgebildeten Löwen, auf der Rückseite ein Mädchen mit eigenthümlichem Haarbund: »Cölnisch gepend«”

(google translate) On the one hand it shows the lion reproduced here, on the back a girl with a peculiar Haarbund)

Schriftlicher Nachlass, Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1956 –

Während des folgenden Aufenthaltes in Köln zeichnete Dürer in sein Skizzenbuch auf die Rückseite des Genter Löwen-Blattes (W. 781) mit Silberstift das Brustbild eines Mädchens und schrieb dazu: „Cölnisch gepend”, d.h. hier [houbet]gebende und meint de Bänder zum Aufbinden und Schmücken des Haares, den kölnischen Kopfputz.

(google translate) During the following stay in Cologne Dürer drew in his sketchbook on the back of the Ghent Lion-sheet (W. 781) with silver pen the bust of a girl and wrote: “Cölnisch gepend”, ie here [houbet]gebende and means de bands to Tie up and adorn the hair, the Köln Headdress.


Yet another translation suggests it describes illustration being made at Cologne.

Albert Dürer: His Life and Work, Volume 2
Moritz Thausing, 1882  (translated to English at time of printing)

“a girl with her hair tied in a strange fashion, and the words ” Colnisch gepend ” (” Painted at Cologne “)”

Gepend appears in English-Dutch dictionaries earlier than the 19thC as “fetahered” or possibly “quilled.” However neither of these terms is correct as the drawing is in silverpoint.


And finally there is an interesting translation which reads the word as synonymous with “gewand.”

Sketchbook of the journey to the Netherlands (1520-1521)
Lund Humphries, 1968

“Durer’s inscriptions read *Colnisch gepend* [Cologne dress], on the left,”

This connection is also made outside of discussion of this illustration.

Wiener-Skizzen aus dem Mittelalter: Zweite Reihe
Johann Evangelist Schlager
C. Gerold, 1836

Seydem gepend (Gewand) sulln sy nicht tragen alle sambt.

This doesn’t seem likely given the context of Durers own repeat use the term “gepend/gepent.” However it does lead to another discussion on searching through texts of early modern German/Dutch and in particular the regional dialect of the North Rhine. To be continued.

looking into jewelry making

So I spent all of Saturday wiring small filigree pieces for my Amalia of Cleves ensemble. I was thinking of taking the velveteen off and putting brocade on, but then I may as well go whole hog and make the frock described by Hall for Anna. I have very big glass pearls to potentially work for the decoration. (I spend all day yesterday asleep because I totally forgot my body is in the chronic phase of my disease which means it’s a bit sneakier.)

I made the pieces match the rest of the pieces I had already made. I have run out of flowers but have a few different kinds.

And that is a smaller gold borstlap made more rigid I think it will be fine over my current front lacing leibchen/mieder/ and will work with a side lacing version too.


I’m finding more and more information to understand their clothing- most of which support of my theories- some were a bit out there but I seem to have been right :). In the mean time also better understanding about Cranach so that I can get that part of The Frazzled Frau back. (I have a cunning plan- it changes a little but I think I have it 🙂

Anyway. I am loving the pieces, and how I matched them, and stylistically they would pass with maybe a few “where did you get that from” if people got close. But ultimately I like them.


But I now have a really good feel for the scrolling shapes of the style, and have a few pieces that can mix and match. So I think it’s time to actually sculpt. And I may even be able to try something else that I think is very needed.

I think lost wax is the most appropriate method so that means making a silicone mold after sculpting so that I can reproduce them.


I want to do this part myself but will need help with the molding process as I do want these in metal so as to feel the same as the original- possibly be the same as many originals. If you ever go on ebay- take a look at the small metal findings of brass and bronze rings. There are so many they are actually affordable for collecting now.

I have my own small bronze seal that appears to have a squirrel on it.


Also I was going to do this in 3D. And I may still. I wasn’t sure how to do scrolling and petal shapes. Well okay actually I do know. I can do the basics in Sketch up and detail in  But I do know how to carve wax to those shapes.


And it’s very exciting. But it means getting all my research up as I go or no one will know why I’ve done something the way I did.



a walk and rest

It has been an amazing few hours! Since my last post I have had a windfall of luck in finding more keys to unlocking my Cleves project! A book arrived that includes information about Anna and Amalia and in there was a footnote about a triptych. The triptcyh I have been looking for without knowing what to look for. The triptychon der Rosenkranzbruderschaft, the 1528 one not the actually well published 17thc one! This triptyich has the ruling family in full. And attendants behind them. After years of finding paintings of citizens it has been very hard to find portraits of the nobility.

This is the only online image!

Anna is in the yellow gown, Amalia in the reddish pinkish gown. This picture alone confirms a few theories I have had as well as supports some documentation I have held onto and not shared because I had zero frame of reference!

But my book also includes a small list of items for the laundry, including a lot of garments for the head, but not only is the transcription good, there is a photo of the list from the document!!!

On the next page is what I think is her inscription in the song book (which I also have a full copy of so should be able to find it) and it confirms my suspicion about the use if ij and y in this location at this time. Which means even more ways to look for information but it also makes it hard as most transcriptions of documents are slightly modernised.

So then from this book I went looking at other books, and have the exhibition catalogue that includes a photo of the triptych and more. And I also found another copy of the inventory that got lost in the mail- I have no idea how the book worked its way out of the packaging but I got a little envelope with my invoice which was very battered.

And then I found a free catalogue from early 1900s with more lists of paintings I probably won’t find easily.

And.. oh yes. I will bring back The Frazzled Frau. Already started as a series of pinterest boards as it is honestly a very easy to maintain visual database of images. I do try to find the original in all my pins, but occasionally wind up linking to the nearest best option.


Anyway. With this new information I am indeed going to work on my accessories this weekend. This means I need to rest and repair my hands as well as get a little exercise to make up for the inactivity of trawling through archives for a good few days. Well months. Years in total but a walk can only do so much.


But now I can be really pretty darn sure that my investment in my projects is in the right direction!