Which one do you like?

by Suw on May 19, 2008

So, I’ve been spending quite a bit of my spare time lately making jewellery inspired by the Renaissance era. I got so hooked on making jewellery for my wedding, I didn’t really want to stop, and as my friend Kate is going to be running a stall at a medieval fayre in August, we agreed that I could make some jewellery to sell on it. Trouble is, I’ve done several designs, and I’m not sure which ones I should focus on making. So I thought I’d ask you lot which ones you like best.

All necklaces are made of glass pearls – real ones are way too expensive – and sometimes with Swarovski crystals. Metalwork can be silver- or gold-plate. Please forgive crappy photos – will try to get some better ones, perhaps of me wearing them so you can see how they fall.

Plain choker
Very boring, easy to make, and thus cheap for those on a budget or whose costume is that of a less well off Elizabethan/Tudor. Currently in black and grey.

Plain choker

Plain choker

Four foot string of beads
They were really into long strings that they could wrap twice around their neck, tucking the surplus into the top of their dresses. Comes in various sizes and colours.

Four foot string of glass pearls

Four foot string of glass pearls

Four foot string of glass pearls

Four foot string of glass pearls

Four foot string with pearls and metal beads
Does what it says on the tin.

Four foot string of glass pearls (with metal beads)

Maria de Medici
From a 1551 portrait, this is a simple choker with lots of pendant beads. Various bead sizes and colours.

Maria de Medici (1551)

Maria de Medici (1551)

From a portrait by Hans Memling from 1463, these have Y-shaped pendants. Again, various colours and bead sizes.

From Hans Memling portrait (1463)

From Hans Memling portrait (1463)

From Hans Memling portrait (1463)

Isabel of Portugal
From the mid-1400s, I couldn’t quite figure out how to link the pendant chain in the first one I did, and in the others I went for simplicity instead of authenticity as i think the original must have a three-way drilled pearl, which I don’t have.

Isabel of Portugal (mid 1400s)

Isabel of Portugal (mid 1400s)

Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia
From 1603, I did two versions of this – one as a tight choker and the other a slightly looser version to sit upon the collarbone. Neither really sit well on anything other than someone’s neck. Couldn’t get a teardrop pendant to hang centrally, so it has to live with out one. Also offset the red crystals for effect.

Princes Elizabeth of Bohemia (1603) choker

Inspired by Princess Royal's necklace, 1603

Princes Elizabeth of Bohemia (1603) long

Queen Anne of Denmark
c1600, and again, it sits better when you actually wear it. I suspect that I’d have to make these to measure – one bead too long or short and it just won’t sit properly.

Queen Anne of Denmark (c1600)

Elizabeth Brydges
From 1589, a real bugger to make, but very impressive when it’s on.

Elizabeth Bridges (1589)

Diamond choker
Of my own design, although clearly diamond in shape, and not in stone! Can’t be affording to play with making jewellery out of those beauties. Silver or gold.

Diamond choker w. Swarovski crystals

So, which ones do you like?
Please take a second to fill in my poll – I’d really like to know which ones you like, and if you’re a girl into Renaissance jewellery, which one would you like to wear?


marrije May 20, 2008 at 10:11 am

I actually think they are all pretty amazing, Suw. What a lot of work! I’m not sure what would work best selling-wise – the simple ones would probably not be that expensive and also wearable with regular outfits. But if I would wear renaissance costume (which I don’t) perhaps I’d like the more special ones, like the Memling (ooh) and the Queen Anne. I don’t know. Make them all, try what works, and especially take custom orders at the fair. (cop out, I know).

kellyd May 20, 2008 at 11:49 am

I’m with Marrije … I’m a girl into Renaissance jewelry, and I like the Memling bestest. 🙂

It’s gorgeous!

Suw May 20, 2008 at 11:53 am

The Memlng one is doing pretty well in the poll, along with the Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, so I’ll make more of both. Marrije, you have given me a good idea though – I will do an order form with photos on, in case I run out of any pieces!

Owen Blacker May 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

There are several I really like, but it’s difficult to tell without photos of them each being worn. I can picture most ok, but the last three are pticly problematic.

Frankly, I think you should model them all ;o)

Suw May 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm

@owen: yeah, i should get photos of someone – me i suppose – wearing them as they do fall differently then when you lay them out flat. I’ll see if kev has time this weekend to take some photos for me. 😀

Suw May 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm

or maybe I could do a seesmic…. there’s a thought.

James Heaver May 20, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I like the Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia with the red crystals. Although, I think I’m looking at it through modern eyes though, its the one I can imagine wearing.

Second to that, it would be the Memling.

Its an amazing array you’ve made though; as I was scrolling down the page I was constantly surprised to find further, more elaborate jewellery.

sohbet September 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I’m a girl into Renaissance jewelry, and I like the Memling bestest. 🙂

It’s gorgeous

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