I little while back I got a question if I could make a coronet for a SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) baroness, and of course I was happy to send a “sketch” made according to the ideas my potential client had for it. As you see in the photo at the bottom of this post, I often try to make my “sketches” using the material I think I will use on the actual coronet in the end. It might change slightly, but after a sketch is approved, I try to stay as close as I can to what I’ve showed my client. If I get new ideas during the process of making it – and that happens quite often – I always contact my client to have the new idea approved. Usually my clients will trust my artist’s eye and let me do how I want. I usually do my best work when I get free hands, so I’m happy to have clients that trust me.
This particular client wanted a classic baronial SCA coronet with six points topped with pearls. The client also wanted to add diagonal rows of pearls, a decoration which has been used historically on baronial coronets in different parts of Europe, sometimes combined with pearled points. I believe that will turn out just beautifully in this particular coronet. The six pearl design is the the way baronial coronets are supposed to look in most SCA groups all over the world, and indeed there there have been historical baronial coronets with this shape, although they were not the most common form. As far as I have been able to find out, British barons and baronesses still use coronets with six pearls for ceremonial purposes. They certainly use it in their heraldry.
It’s always difficult to discuss historical authenticity when it comes to crowns and coronets in the SCA, as many kingdoms in the Society have their own “sumptuary laws” which determine what different people are allowed to wear ,just like in medieval Europe. Unfortunately these laws sometimes make it hard to build coronets that look historically correct, especially for early medieval period. In the Kingdom of Drachenwald, where I reside, we are lucky and have no sumptuary laws except the general ones stated in the worldwide SCA rules. Happily, this gives us freedom to do whatever we want with our coronets… almost. This particular coronet will combine both real world historical tradition and SCA tradition, so it doesn’t really get more baronial than that.
I will post more pictures of the process of building this coronet. It might be fun for you to see.
(If you find all this SCA talk confusing, take a look here and it might make more sense.