17 December 2011

M for Maria - late 14th cent. brooch from Germany

Something a bit more secular this time - a luxury object of personal devotion.

In 1870 during some construction works at Pritzwalk (Germany) the large number of late medieval silver items had been discovered.
After the examination the researchers came to a conclusion that this treasure was probably hidden in 1392. It consisted 426 jewellery items and a number of jewellery fragments.
Unfortunately the treasure was moved from Pritzwalk to Berlin Decorative Art Museum and some of the items has been destroyed ( also including a beautiful wearable pendant altar with three kings visiting Christ) during the II World War bombing.

Hundreds of beautiful items survived, though and it was really hard to decide what to make first!
After hours of studying the catalogue- that was my pick.

The silver brooch in a shape of crowned letter M.

A wax model of a copy of the silver, late14th century brooch.


Letter M stands for Maria -Mother of Christ. 
The background of the letter is engraved with six four petal flowers and letters A and V- which stands for AVE.
There is also an additional element, a small leave-shaped pendant suspended with a silver wire eye soldered at the back. In the centre of the pendent the is an eye soldered with a silver foil hanging ornament ( very similar to the one from Erfurt Treasure hooks-and-eyes I made - you can see it here )
All elements are enemelled.
At the revers the hinged pin with a closing hook is still preserved.

The original brooch from Pritzwalk Treasure, now in Kunsgewerbetmuseum Collection in Berlin
Material: Silver, gold gilt, enamel
Dimensions: 50mm ( with pendant) x 2,1mm

Krabath, Stefan; Lambacher, Lothar: Der Pritzwalker Silberfund. Smuck des späten Mitelalters, Pritzwalk 2006

10 December 2011

Silver crowned spoon

Getting ready for a royal feast. Silver spoon found in Sweden. This is one of seven similar spoons found in a large silver treasure discovered in Sollentuna and now in the collection of the Historiska Museet.
I just finished the wax few days ago. The final shape of the spoon will me made after it will be casted in metal - i will hammer it to make it deeper. Afterwards the ornaments will be engraved and partly plated with gold.

Wax model of the silver spoon form the Historiska Museet.



Black and white version to give a better idea of how it will look in silver.

The picture of the spoons together with all the treasure elements.

Spoons photographed with the rest of the treasure: cups, belt elements, buttons, candleholder.

Finally the original spoon front and back view. Note the beautiful engraved and plated ribbon under the handle.

The original spoon from the Historiska Museet.
Material:    silver, gold plated
Dimension:    length 122 mm
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1 December 2011

Hooks-and-eyes from Erfurt

Today a short break from making reliquaries. Today there is going to be something about fashion - clothes fasteners from a 14th century treasure from Germany.

It was made using a brass blowpipe not a modern gas burner - something I learned from a goldsmith in India during the last trip ( Yes, there will be a post about it soon).

Copy of the leave hook and eye from the Erfurt Treasure
Material: silver
Dating: 14th century


The photo of the original two pairs of fasteners.

The original fasteners from the Erfurt Treasure
Material:   silver, gold gilt
Dating:  14th century

 At the photo above, the ears in the front side are preserved only on one of the leaves and were used for adding some small metal hanging pendants. Unfortunately it seems that they easily getting lost - but another element from the same treasure still have them preserved.

The belt stud from the Erfurt Treasure with a metal pendant
Few of the belt-studs still have those pendants attached, so I decided to reconstruct a similar heart-shaped ones for my fasteners.

There are many more very interesting hooks-and eyes from Erfurt and they will be available to order soon.

More copies of the Erfurt Treasure elements waiting for soldering.

Silver floral fasteners from Erfurt Treasure

Silver fleur-de-lis fastener form Erfurt Treasure

The Erfurt Treasure- all elements.

The Erfurt Tresure - detail.


Mecking, Oliver (el al.): Der Schatzfund - Analysen - Herstellungstechniken - Rekonstruktionen. Die Mittelalterliche Judische Kultur in Erfurt, Bd. 2.Weimar 2010.