Friday, February 6, 2015

Multi-strand Elizabethan Girdle and Necklace

I really like the multi-strand necklaces which were so popular with the Elizabethans, and for quite a while I have been wanting to make a multi-strand Elizabethan girdle. And of course, the necklace to match!

The trend appears in late sixteenth-century portraits of both men and women, in England, France and Spain. Which is probably not surprising, given that the style is an excellent way of demonstrating that you have masses of jewels strung together in a very cosmopolitan style!

Portrait of a Woman 1567
Portrait of a Woman - 1567
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LOUISE DE LORRAINE (1553 - 1601) Queen of France from 1575 to 1589 married to HENRI III. She 1st caught the eye of , Henry III, in 1574. . Louise was not only attractive & sweet-natured, but who also resembled the Princess of Condé, Marie de Clèves, whom Henry III was infatuated. He remembered Louise long after he left France. Louise worshipped her husband, who in response fussed over her.
Portrait of Louise de Lorraine
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Portrait of a Lady from the Wentworth Family by Hans Eworth
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Portrait of Margaret Gerard, Lady Legh, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government and allocated to the National Trust for display at Lyme Park, 2011. ©National Trust Collections
Portrait of Margaret Gerard, Lady Leigh, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
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Portrait of Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton, attributed to George Gower, 1577.  This lady, a first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth, was the sister of Lettice Knollys. She served as one of Elizabeth's Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber.
Portrait of Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton, attributed to George Gower, 1577.
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King Charles IX, circa 1572, by or after Clouet. Palace of Versailles.
Portrait of King Charles IX, circa 1572, by or after Clouet
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Portrait of Robert Dudley
Image from,_1st_Earl_of_Leicester#mediaviewer/File:Robert_Dudley.jpg

Henry II of France..jpg
Henry II of France
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Not being nearly as wealthy as a courtier or Royal (!) I ordered some white 4mm seed beads in bulk from an online supplier. I also got some red natural gemstone beads to use as the focus bead. I used four strands of tiger tail. The four strands went through a focus bead (the dark red ones) and then were strung separately with twelve seed beads. Then all four strings of tiger tail were threaded through a focus bead, and the whole process started again. Not a hard job, but a little tedious. It was certainly hard to hold all four of the tiger tail wires when they all wanted to go in different directions!

I put a clip on the bottom of the girdle piece that hangs down so I can change pomanders/accessories whenever I like. The two middle pieces and long middle hanging piece were all made separately and joined at the end because to do them as one joined piece would have meant there was too much wire trying to go through the tiny holes in the beads. I used crimps to close off the ends of the pieces and a hook and loop on the ends that go around the waist.

The trick at the end is to adjust the tension of the individual strands so they spread out a bit before closing up the crimps.

I am really happy with the end result!

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