Theyre re still a bit fingerprinty, but that took a day less than I expected. I need to play with the order of panels to get the colour mix right, but I’m pleased with mix of colours and shapes.
One of the mistakes people consciously make with medieval jewels is matching the stones too well. I never really try to exactly match the stones in a reproduction because it can be hard unless you cut your own and I’m no lapidary, instead I try to go with the spirit of the thing. Here I’ve used pearls, amethysts, coral, citrine, garnet, opal, fluorite, mother of pearl, and agate.
The citrines, agates and fluorite are actually beads which I bezel set. If you look closely at medieval jewels you will often find that some of the stones are side drilled beads, even things like rubies and sapphires. There is a theory that this is because the gems came from India and the Indian tradition values drilled stones far more than does the western, but I think the fact that a strung stone is far harder to loose might also have appealed to travelling merchants. I look out for good gem beads with a flattish profile when I go to the wholesalers because not only do I think they look great in context, but they’re often a bargain compared to cabachons- those citrines are beautiful quality but I got a whole string of them for the price of one large cab.
I used a lot of amethysts. Mainly because I have a lot of amethysts
Thats not even all of them, that’s just the ones that were handy. I bought a lifetimes supply for ten quid. Bargain of the (previous) century. At least it was if you like amethysts, which I do.
Annoyingly, about five minutes before I set off for the assay I snapped off one of the crown hinges. The pieces went straight from assay to the platers, and you can’t solder plated metal ( it’s burns off the gilding). So I riveted on a silver hinge.
I feel quite pleased with myself. Riveting is one of those things I’ve never been great at, but by forcing myself to do period repairs I really feel like I’m improving. In a perverse sort of way I’m almost hoping this does get damaged in use so I can repair it properly.
In other news, branston has a new box, but I’m not sure if this face means he likes it or not?