Quite a while ago, I decided to make a pre-Scandinavian or "Vendel" period costume. Since then, I've learned a number of things (including the fact that only in Sweden do the scholars use the term "Vendel" to describe the time period I have in mind).
|Brooch from Grave No. 58|
So I've decided it would be more practical for me to try to reproduce the Grave No. 58 costume, which is technically not Vendel because it is Danish, not Swedish, and the Danes do not use the term "Vendel" for the period just before the Viking Age. (According to Robert Ferguson, the Danes refer to this period as the "Germanic Iron Age.") Here's my current plan now:
|One of the Grave No. 58 "trilobite" brooches|
- Obtain a copy of the RQP brooch.
- Obtain enough beads to string about 5 short strands beneath the brooch. How many beads that will take will depend on the size of the beads involved, but probably between 30-50 will do. I have located an on-line bead store that will sell me an inexpensive assortment of annular beads, and I can hunt for individual beads to achieve an approximately correct look.
- Obtain Sculpey and make bead spacers and tortoise brooches from it. I don't plan to try to make the brooches look like trilobites, but small, plain tortoise brooches are sometimes found at this period, and I'm willing to try making those from Sculpey.
- Obtain long straight pins to use to fasten a shawl on my shoulders. (Most of the early NSV graves appear to have such items, no matter what style of brooch they contain.) At this point I'm not sure from my sources to date what the pins found at NSV looked like, but I can work on that item later.
- Make or otherwise obtain a spiral armband (I have some ideas about how to make this item on the cheap).
- Sew a long shift from my white wool, as planned. It needs to have a keyhole neckline, since the rectangular brooch apparently was used to hold one closed on the occupant of Grave No. 58. I will probably use my Snartemo band on this shift even though it's not clear that such bands or designs were used in Danish dress at this time.
- Decide what shape the overdress should be and sew it. I believe that the overdress needs to be suspended from loops, because the tortoise brooches are shallow; if their pins are confined to the center of the bowl of the brooch, there would be no other practical way to use them to hold a dress). Although there is increasing evidence for apron dresses, including Danish apron dresses, to be pleated for at least a portion of the top middle front of the dress, I know of no evidence for such pleats in Grave No. 58, so I will simply make it as a wide tube, as I did with this dress.
Now that I have something resembling a plan, I should be able to move forward. We will see how much this plan ends up changing as the project advances.
* The brooch appears on the same page as Raymond's "Saxon" brooches, but its design is unmistakeably that of the Grave No. 58 brooch. It even appears to be the same size as the Grave No. 58 find.