Earrings

Making, Pictures, Queries, Resources

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latheaxe
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Earrings

Postby latheaxe » Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:32 pm

A question from my better half if anybody can help.Do any of you have any images or examples of 14th century earrings?Would the ears have been pierced?Also is there any patterns out there for 14th century head dress?
Many thanks in anticipation..



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Postby sally » Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:36 pm

For which country, rank and which half of the fourteenth centurey? I'm sure I've seen very occasional earrings from the continent, but offhand can't recall which part. Anyway, they certainly aren't common things, I seem to recall they turn up very very occasionally in fairly 'royal' contexts, but thats about it. Will try to dig out the image I have in mind and check what the date and region was.



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Postby Meg » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:26 pm

Hi

We have provenanced earrings, pretty securely, to the second half of the fifteenth century, but there are some pretty specific styles - and even then, they're definitely not common. I can't off-hand think of any English sources that show them - they seem to be mostly Italian, I think. I've found nothing earlier than about 1440, despite searching quite extensively (my main period is late 14th century, so it's very frustrating!).

Sorry not to be of more help - I'll try to dig out the references if it would be useful!

Meg



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Postby frances » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:39 pm

What type of headdress did you have in mind to wear with the earrings? You see, so many headdresses cover up the ears.

I did hear a story that it was thought that Mary, being a virgin, gave birth to baby J through her ear. And so ladies ears were covered up out of respect. Anyone else heard this one?



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latheaxe
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Postby latheaxe » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:09 pm

Hi,
Thanks for the responses...We are looking around 1330 - 1376 (Black Prince era in England and a rank of a Lady!.Are there any how to's/patterns about for a ladys head dress??.Looks like the earrings are out in this period in England?
Many thanks,



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purple peril
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Postby purple peril » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:50 pm

Hi.
We do early 14th. Is this the sort of thing you mean? I've found that a headband and gorget with a half-circle wimple does the trick. Handily this also eliminates the need for removal of modern earrings because you can't even see them. Hope this helps.

This would be for a lady of marriageable age, where most of the hair and all of the neck would have been covered. As I believe this is from a German source, they obviously weren't quite as coy as us.

You'll look a b**ger and will need lots of pins...oh and comedy fake plaits. Seriously! There are archaeological finds and everything ;)
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Postby purple peril » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:55 pm

This is what it's supposed to look like under the wimple. Hairnets rule. Yay!
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Postby purple peril » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:56 pm

This comes next.
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Postby purple peril » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:57 pm

Finally...
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Postby frances » Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:51 pm

When I have gone round on a hot day with just the horizontal and vertical head bands people have thought that I injured my head and ask am I alright - hehehe. Oh, by the way the bands are for pinning the veil to. For security pin the bands together where they cross first. A very comfortable thing to wear. I have seen a pic of a woman working at a forge, and she has obviously taken off her veil when working.

As for veils, I have one with a straight front edge, adn one with a semi-circular front edge. They seem to work exactly the same. For upper class veil it should be almost transparent silk. I have two types of this available on the haberdashery stall if you need some.



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:35 am

Back to earings.
The way they attach to your ear changes with place and time.

There is a pair of Egyptian earings that use and a rod/tube through large holes in the ear. Reminiscent of African jewellery.
Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine used hooks and hinged semicircles. As did Indian earings.
This carries on into the C11th in Italy and Greece.

Then earings seemed to go out of fashion. Rings, brooches and ornamented belts were the in thing in Medieval Europe.

The Renaissance sees necklaces and pendants and jewels like small brooches that clip/hook/thread on to the hair.
The odd earing starts to appear on early C16th Italian and Spanish princesses.

Then late Elizabthen sees earings in England on men and women. Hanging off a gold circle that looped through a hole in the ear. No hooks ecept in China.



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Postby nev » Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:35 pm

which raises the question, what about earings on men in history?


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:41 am

Egyptian and Chinese men (of pharo and mandarin status, wore them.) And probably Aztwc and Indian, but I need to look that up and the family has decended on me for Christmas and are queing to use 'my' computer.

In England the one pearl dangling from a ring seemed to come in around Francis Drake's time.



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:36 pm

Yes, I was right. Aztec and Indian (Asian not American) men of high rank wore earings in our Middle Ages.

After a moment of madness in Elizabethan times Englishmen seem to have got squeamish and abandoned the wearing of earings until the 1990's when it became the rage again. (The single gold hoop in one ear.) What was that about????????? Around 2000 multiple piercing of any portion of the ear(s) became the in thing.

Extract from Annie's mini potted history of...series, soon to be published by.......



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Postby frances » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:49 pm

Dear Annie, I seem to remember the male single earring in the late 1960's. Flower power and all that. Men in ground-length caftans, necklaces round the neck and one flower in the hair. And a flower or two painted on the face. (My next costume exhibition will be the 1960's and 70's!!)



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:43 pm

Yes my text books only took me up to the 1950s. The last bit was based on a friend, 'our' age who decided to pierce his ear when he was (quick calculation) - 50 - I was shocked! The young must have been doing it right left and centre before that because it wasn't the piercing that shocked me but the age he chose to be trendy.

So I suppose in true reenactor fashion, Frances, I demand to see writen proof or archeological evidence to support your statement. Did you keep a diary as a hippy young thing, did you pierce your boyfriend's ear with a needle or have you found a mud splatted hoop with a petal caught in the catch in a field somewhere?

Annit the prof :shock:



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Postby Shadowcat » Wed Dec 28, 2005 8:59 pm

I'm with Frances - I remember young men wearing one "gold" ring, quite discreetly, in the ear, but then I was working in the theatre from 1967, and was living in a theatre town during the whole of the 60's. Unfortunately I cannot remember which particular young man, or men, although I can, I think, for the 70's. Sorry, never kept a diary - too incriminating!



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Postby Meg » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:25 am

Hi

Re earrings, I'm afraid the one firm reference I've been able to track down is 1432, the Van Eyck Ghent Polyptych. The Erythean Sibyl, one of the small figures at the top of one of the panels, wears an earring: a gold hoop with a ball closure, with a black pearl suspended from it. Unfortunately despite having a close-up of the image, it's hard to tell the sex of the figure - it's pretty androgynous. I'll try to scan it for you.

The other reference I have been given is as follows:
"Cologne, c. 1450: the young men of the town took to wearing an earring in one ear in imitation of the image of Balthazar on the cathedral altarpiece." I haven't actually checked this one yet, although it's pretty high up on my list of 'Things to Track Down Before the Season'!

One further tentative lead - apparently there's a Bruegel(?) painting of St Veronica where almost everyone in the painting has pierced ears - men and women - including a Moor with a facial piercing. I've had no luck tracking this one down yet, so it may not be by Bruegel.

I know I've got some more references somewhere, so I'll keep looking, but I'll definitely try to scan the Van Eyck one for you if it would help. I can confirm that it's definitely the earliest example I know of, though, so it doesn't help your quest (or mine!) for 14th century earrings - I think we have to conclude that they didn't exist, although why they suddenly re-surface in the 15th c is a bit of a mystery!



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Postby Mad Monk of Mitcham » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:56 am

The references I have indicate that earrings were regarded as symbols of exotic origin, which is why they appeared on the characters mentioned by Meg. (The sybil and the three kings). The BM has some 14th C ones from eastern europe, but I'm not aware of any from England until the mid 16th C.

Thats also the approximate time for earrings to appear on men as well in Western culture. Although Earrings were popular amongst the Romans, I think that all the ones found in an archeological context were from female graves, and texts from the time indicate that men wearing them were regarded as effeminate or possibly eunuchs.



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Postby Alice the Huswyf » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:09 am

Perhaps I hung out with a more louche crowd than you Annie, but multiple ear piercing was prevalent with the punks in the late '70's. Previously the theatre crowd all seemed to sport a small hoop (which side was reputed to indicate sexual preference) as did a lot of bikers, headbangers et al. Then the Posers, the New Romatics and the Goths followed on - even the men - with a preference for rows of diminishing-size studs up the ear, ear cuffs and piercings in the gristle at the top and tip of the ear.

When I came home in 1982 with a modest second hole in one earlobe my mother hit the roof citing 'what will you do when you are an old lady and you have an extra hole in your ear'? I remember thinking to myself that I would be one of a generation of old ladies who had up to seven holes in one or even both ears.

The current craze for expanding the holes in your ear seems to have trickled into mainstream notice about 2000 and several local postmen sport ever larger expanders round here. Really.



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:28 pm

I spent the 70's, 80's and 90's out in the sticks, mi lud.
It obviously takes time for new fangled fashioins to worm thier way into the rural villages of Essex.



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Postby frances » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:48 pm

Annie, as a child I was taken on many an Aldermaston march to ban the bomb. I can distinctly remember one march where I saw my first flower children. I thought they looked lovely. They were standing at the side of the road, on the verge, as the march was forming up. They were very flowery. And I am pretty sure that the man had an earring in one ear. Now that must have been the late 1960's as I went off to university in '69 (in time for sit-ins) and we had stopped going on the marches some years before that. Besides which I can probably lay my hands upon some contemporary photographs showing this. I will no doubt come across some when I prepare the exhibition - to show in three weeks, so I will get down to it pretty soon anyway.

Anyone got any spare 1960's and 70's clothes I can show??



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:27 pm

I had my ear pierced in about 1981, most I had was three, very common in all senses I guess, holes still there, no loss of status (easy to achieve no loss in my case), stopped wearing them about ten years ago.

Didn't sailors wear earrings in the 17th-19th centuries or is that mere filmic nonsense?


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:56 am

I've spotted one in a Hogarth book (earlyC18th). It is a cartoon style picture so maybe mocking the poor fellow. He's let himself go a bit - (to be staight talking he's fat and ugly) but quite well dressed.

Jorge - when you got your ears pieced were you in deepest rural Suffolk or living somewhere more swinging and metropolitan? (I was going to make a snide remark about seaside town but I love them all!)



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Postby Alice the Huswyf » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:19 am

Annie! The sticks? Up here we all Know that the Queen lives in Essex.



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Postby Alice the Huswyf » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:19 am

Anyway, the third hole happened in Kent.



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Postby gregory23b » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:45 pm

Ackcherley Oh Peddling One I am a Suffolk Import, bred up in Laandaan - so yes I was hip babe.

Been in Ips for nearly six years.

There are loads of pierced people here who haven't left the early 80s though, so I see where you might be coming from.


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Postby Meg » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:16 pm

I've just found one in a Bosch painting - well, possibly two actually. 1485 - 1490.
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/bosc ... g.jpg.html

(don't know how to make it a link, I'm afraid, so you'll have to cut and paste).

Definitely looks like two earrings - Veronica (I think) - lady in pale blue - seems to have a dropped pearl earring, although it may conceivably just be part of her headdress (seems unlikely though). There's a chap towards the top in the middle somewhere who is very clearly shown with a drop pearl on a chain. There's also a Moor with a whole load of facial piercings, but I think we can discount those for most reenactors!

Throw any light on the subject?

Meg



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Postby Ysengrijn » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:00 pm

This would be for a lady of marriageable age, where most of the hair and all of the neck would have been covered. As I believe this is from a German source, they obviously weren't quite as coy as us.

Hello, well you're right. The pictures are from a German source. They come out of a german manuscript called "Codex Manesse" or "Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift", datin out the mid 14th century. You can see more and better pictures at :

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/cpg848

The whole manuscript (text and pictures) has been digitalised and can be seen at the following link :

http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/h ... cpg848.htm

Others interesting manuscripts to see at the Heidelberg University (very good pictures !) :

http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/hs/hs-online.htm

Greetings !

Ysengrijn



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:05 am

Not an earing in sight in the Luttrell Plalter (English C14th) but in the Trachtenbuch (the drawings, not the book, were maybe made in 1529 in Spain) Spanish noble women are wearing big circular flower like earings and one that looks like a bunch of cherries, a Moorish woman has a fat hoop with a blob at the base through her ear; the men - a moorish drummer and an African looking drummer wear hoops (they could be the same person as the prints were coloured in at a later date) and a load of South American Indians brought back by Cortez have hoops, hoops in hoops and a fat rod one that leaves a big hole in your ear - and a variety of facial piercings.
I have to emphasise noone else is wearing earings, not even the sailors.

Hi Ysengrijn and Meg, if you run your mouse with the left button down (highlight) the web address then go to the top of the page and click in the URL box it makes the web address live / do quantum leaps / connect to the website.




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