[The] mediaeval bottle does not differ much from those examples which still survive. It has however three perpendicular ridges up the sides, parallel to those made by the end seams. They are purely ornamental, and are not intended for hoops, because they are not continued under the bottom (which as seen from the ground level is the most conspicuous part), and also because the middle one would, if continued, have gone over the mouth of the bottle. Some actual bottles exist in which these raised bands (always on one side only) form part of the decoration, and I believe them to be all mediaeval examples.
The holes on each side of the neck in these early bottles are never round and small as if for a cord (which is invariable in late bottles), but are elongated slits as if for a thick leathern thong.
This is one of my favourite costrels, as it sits at the transition point between the medieval and modern styles. It has the rectangular holes of the medieval type, but the maker then has a bet each way with the design. One side, which for consistency with the MRT, I’ll call the back (although I secretly believe it to be the front), has incised hatching enclosed by vertical lines, a vestigial form of the earlier raised ridges. On the other side is an embossed harp similar in placement and proportion to the fleur-di-lys on several later costrels.
I’m not going to go in to too much detail here, as I’ve covered the construction methods before. I did the stitch spacing entirely by eye this time, and I’m fairly happy with how it turned out although my stitching is still too regular.
Once the stitching was done, I sealed it with pitch
and everything went horribly wrong
The only solution was to re-dye the whole thing black.
All that’s left to do is another coat of pitch and sew in the neck gasket.