Viking Brooches

A Viking friend of mine– here’s shouting out to Develon!– has offered to make me some brooches and other assorted pretties in partial payment for a linen gambeson.  Having never made a gambeson before, I am still not sure exactly how hard it will be, but I have made more complicated and detailed things before, so I think it should be an interesting experience.  Also, it will be nice to have some challenging busywork like quilting twenty layers of linen and two of wool for evenings when I am just plain sick of studying.  More on the Gambeson when I get the material and it starts to take shape.

As for the brooches, I can’t decide exactly what I like or really want to have Dev make for me.  So, here are a few ideas:

For starters, Kyle and Cody need cloak pins of some sort– I think some penannular brooches, not too complicated or ornate, would be just the ticket– preferably made of bronze so they are stronger.  Maybe something like this:  (Excuse the fuzziness of the picture.)

Penannular Brooch

Penannular Brooch

(My scanner was broken, mostly not working actually, but I had to take pictures of the things I liked out of the Viking Books rather than getting the lovely pictures I really wanted.  That is why some of these are fuzzy.)

As for brooches for myself, I would like a couple of “Tortoise” brooches, as they seem to have been more commonly worn than the round style I currently have, and at any rate I would like to upgrade from pewter to bronze, as it looks nicer and is a little stronger.  If I get the tortoise brooches, they would probably be something like this:

Trefoil, Tortoise Brooches, and Equal-Arm Brooch

Trefoil, Tortoise Brooches, and Equal-Arm Brooch

However, if I remember right, the open spaces are hard to do, so I’m not even sure I want or need the tortoise brooches at that rate.  Round ones like these below might be better:

Borre Style Round Brooches

Borre Style Round Brooches

I really like the one on the right, especially if it were done in bronze.  I am not sure what the loop below it was for, but I presume it was for hanging needle cases, knives, ear-spoons, etc.– all a respectable Viking lady needed on her person at all times.  This one would also be appropriate, as it is approximately from the era that I portray, and very distinctively Viking, with the very typical gripping beasts.

For the last item I am interested in, I would like a brooch for clasping my cloak.  While I really like the trefoil brooches, and the story behind them.  (Apparently they were made originally by stealing a mount from Frankish Sword Belts and adding a pin to the back.  “Hey honey, look what I brought you from the raid!”)  However, I really prefer the equal-armed brooches for the purpose of a heavy wool cloak.  I like the larger one in this picture about the best:

Equal-Armed Brooches

Equal-Armed Brooches

But, again this brooch is so incredibly ornate that I can’t even begin to imagine what it would take to make it– so much for “primitive technology”!  Still not certain on this one, so I will need to ask Dev what he thinks would be possible.  Also, I think the original was gold, so this would have been a rich lady’s piece.  I know I portray an upper class lady, but I’m not sure I’m that rich!

So there we have it– I have ideas, but can’t decide a thing!  Good thing fabric choices are easier– you get what the store has and go from there!  Let me know what you think about the brooches, and I will post with my final decisions.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. the name of the book?


    • I believe it was “Vikings” by Tre Trykare.

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