There was a lottery a while back to support a 20 year celebration the SCA group in Europe celebrates in June next year. I donated a pendant to be done after the winner’s wishes, and the lady who won my prize is a beautiful Lady of the Rose and she wanted a rose pendant. She is a lady of muted colours and wanted something blingy but not bright, and you can see what I came up with. It actually matches a coronet I made for the same lady a while back, so I’m pleased with it. But it’s not the pendant I want to talk about.
It’s the litte bail it’s hanging from.
I’ve been making renaissance pendants for a while now, and when I study period paintings I realize that they like to wear the pendants in many different ways. They can be hanging in a chain, or from a silk ribbon, or from a strand of pearls, or pinned to a bodice or a hat, and that is just a few examples.
So how could I make my pendants so they can be easily transferred between a silk ribbon and a strand of pearls? A while back I started to make little hooks, which work quite well and are pretty, but I don’t have any historical evidence for them. But this last Saturday I had a bit of an Eureka moment! While looking for something completely different, I noticed the pendant Lady Margaret Lee holds in her hand in this 1540 portrait by Hans Holbein The Younger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hans_Holbein_d._J._034.jpg (I’ve added a detail of the portrait in my photo composite below)
The bail looks like a little spiral with an open end! So, I had to try to make one. And if you look at my photo below you see how my first experiment turned out. It looks OK I think, and it’s VERY functional. I can easily transfer the pendant from one place to another, and there is little risk that it will fall off. So, this is quite possible how I will make most of my bails from now on, until I found documentation for something even more clever…