faux medieval items

Mark Harris mark_harris at quickmail.sps.mot.com
Mon Dec 16 14:59:09 PST 1996

Greetings from Stefan li Rous,

Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra stated:

More generally, I will note that the use of "faux" *anything* in re-creating 
our costuming directly follows the practices of our various ancestors -- 
even most / many of those who could afford the real stuff. Consider for a 
moment the many ingenious forms of fake jewels, reduced-cost fabrics, and 
adulterated metals that have been found in jewelry and surviving clovhing. 
In particular relation to clothing, it behooves us all to think upon the 
many variations developed to reduce the cost of silk cloth (weaves I have 
learned some about, and think I've seen some reference to blended threads).

I find this discussion of fake jewels and decoration interesting. I have
heard of cloth being made of a mixture of materials such as silk and
cotton, but this may be for other reasons that looking higher class than
you were, such as some materials only being strong enough to be woven 
in one way (some fabrics use one type of material for the woof and another
for the warp).

I know that cast pewter jewelry has been called the "costume" jewelry of 
the Middle Ages. And I know that fake jewels were used even in some fancy
jewelry in Queen Elizabeth's court.

Many of the medieval guild regulations seem to be there to keep merchants
and artisans from adulturating foods or items with cheaper materials.

I have pasted a message from my file jewelry-msg below. 

Does anyone have any more examples to share?

From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: circlets and crowns
Date: 27 Jun 1996 13:26:14 -0400

Greetings from Arval!  Clare West posted:

> _Fashion in the Age of the Black Pince_ by Stella M. Newton the following
> tidbit on page 36:

Fascinating excerpt.  Thank you.

> Firstly it ensures that people are not cheated by goldsmiths, and
> secondly it ensures that the only people who may have "costume" jewelery
> are the church and the crown.

Since real jewelry was very expensive, this would have the effect of
preventing any but the extremely rich to look extremely rich.  The king and
the church were exempted, I assume, because it was deemed proper for them
to look as glorious as they wished.
Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com


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