The Museum of London leather jerkin in close up photographs.
Thanks to the Archaeological Leather Group for pointing it out.
Nothing original this time, I just found Willy Groenman van Waateringe’s Die Lederfunde Von Haithabu (Leather Finds from Hedeby) (1984) online and thought you might be interested…
I’ll be making a quiver or two later, so stay tuned.
If anyone is interested in 15th century leatherwork, woodwork, or any aspect of maritime construction, the Newport Ship have their Specialist Reports online.
The introduction of the Fabric Specialist Report gives some background of the ship.
In 2002, during the construction of the Riverfront Theatre, on the banks of the River Usk in Newport, South Wales, an archaeological find of great significance was unearthed. In the summer of that year, while undertaking the excavations for the theatre’s orchestra pit, the well-preserved remains of a 15th century clinker built merchant vessel were discovered.
Be prepared for turn-welted poleyns, leather pump components and an archer’s bracer (MSG 154 on p90).
I’ve finally managed to get organised enough to upload my photos from the Mary Rose Museum. “Mary Rose leatherwork”, or a variant on that theme is in the top 5 searches on this blog nearly every day, so there seems to be some demand for it. The museum features very low light to protect the finds from UV degredation, so the colour in the photos tends to be a bit muddy. Some of them have had a lot of work to pull the image from what at first appeared to be a black frame.
I’ve arranged the photos by item type, starting with archery equipment and then move on to other items. You may have seen some of these photos before but hopefully most of them will be new. The photos also link through to my Flikr account. I’ll update the descriptions when more information becomes available.
Something a little different this time. You may take this as either something a little off-beat with leather or me just showing off again. Or both, I’m still rather pleased with the result as this was my first attempt at sculpting.
Our younger child was one of those kids. Immediately after an act of the utmost diabolical evil, he’d suddenly turn into someone so incredibly sweet you’d momentarily stop contemplating infanticide. His grandmother didn’t like the only name to which he would respond, Destroyer of Worlds. To Nana, he was Prince of Imps. So when we were invited to a Renaissance Masked Ball, he simply had to go as the Lincoln Imp.
According to a 14th-century legend two imps were sent by Satan to do evil work on Earth. After causing mayhem in Northern England, the two imps headed to Lincoln Cathedral where they smashed tables and chairs and tripped up the Bishop. When an angel came out of a book of hymns and told them to stop, one of the imps was brave and started throwing rocks at the angel but the other imp cowered under the broken tables and chairs. The angel turned the first imp to stone giving the second imp a chance to escape and end up in another group of stories. So even in the 14th century, they knew the pulling power of a sequel.
The imp mask was made from five pieces. Two for the horns, two ears and the skull-cap. The horns are simple cones, cut as a segment of a circle with the two straight sides held together with edge-flesh stitching. A small wedge was taken out to help with the curve and stitched the same way. The horns were then dampened and stretched into the curved shape. Ears were simple leaf shapes with folds and veins embossed with a butter-knife. I chose to give the imp an earing with a flower-shaped stamp. The skull-cap was a larger circle, with a small wedge taken out either side of the forehead and one in the middle. These edges were also secured with edge-flesh stitches to give it a curve. The eyebrow ridge was worked through from the back and hairs were then embossed from the front with the edge of the butter knife this time.
The “stalk” of the ears were pushed through slits in the appropriate places and secured in place with a couple of stitches, and then curved along the long axis to give them a bit of strength. The horns were sewn to a couple of strips of thin leather, which was then rolled and stitched to the skull.
Selected red and brown paint to finish, with water gilded tips of the horns and earing. Once the paint was dry, I glued on some fur from an old fur jacket paying attention to the fall of the nap so it resembled the statue and covered all the seams. The ensemble was completed with a pointy tail. It’s had a couple of uses since it was made, and the son has settled down and become a lovely man in the intervening seven years. Infanticide is now only very rarely considered.
Some more photos from out trip to the National Gallery of Victoria. I was going to say “recent”, but it was back in January. I’ll stick to details from the paintings, if you want to see the whole image visit the gallery’s website, get a catalogue from your local library or go the gallery.
The NGV has a largish selection of 17th century English and Dutch art along with a substantial collection of earlier art. During the reigns of Elizabeth, James and to a lesser extent Charles and the interregnum, English middle-class Protestant fashion tended to mirror the Dutch fashion, largely due to the influence of Dutch refugees from the Spanish occupation. This is fortunate as it means we can draw from a wider range of art than would otherwise be the case and it comes from a time when the Realism style was on the ascendency.
The van Velthuysens made their fortune trading with Italy, so sit at the upper end of the middle class. Probably a marriage portrait, both figures wear latchet shoes with very large cut-outs. The heels appear to be stacked leather, if you embiggen the picture, you’ll see the individual stitches in the welts. Josina has smaller shoes than her husband, tiny feet by modern standards, but otherwise both pair of shoes are remarkably similar.
David Teniers the Younger, a Flemish artist born in Antwerp depicted a typical pub scene of the period. The figures are mostly from the lower end of the social scale, their shoes are solid, heavy and largely unadorned. There are no cut-outs in the sides, the boy may be wearing a leather jerkin not unlike those from the Mary Rose.
Mytens was a Dutch artist working in England between 1618 and 1635. Ashburnham was Member for Hastings from 1628 and was also Groom of the Bedchamber of Charles I. In this painting, he is wearing a pair of buff leather boots with probably a wooden heel and a slap sole. There is a seam between the vamp and quarters that is hidden behind the spur leather.
Ashburnham’s gloves are shown in the detail below.
The right glove has been casually dropped on the ground and is pinned in place by his cane. I suspect it’s made of buff tanned deerskin, not unlike chamois. Decoration is silver and gold wrapped silk laid and couched. Ashburnham still wears his left glove in his left hand.
In the image above, you can see more of the embroidery on the back of the glove cuff. The baldric is also visible.
de Vos was a Flemish artist working in Antwerp. The mother in question is a Catholic, shown by both the crucifix and the richness of her clothing. The gloves are finer, but similar to those worn by Ashburnham above.
Painted while Turchi was working in Rome, Charity is accompanied by a cupid wearing a quiver similar to one hanging in a tree in the contemporary “Diana and her Nymphs after the Hunt” by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrik van Balen. More on that one in another post.
These photos are from our visit to the Museum of London in 2006. The light levels in the museum can be quite low, so the photos sometimes are underexposed. The level of detail on the placards was also fairly limited, but most of these items have been published by the MoLAS if you want to read up further.
I’ll keep the captions brief and to the point.