Eirny on Historically-based Jewelry & Accessories

Curious about what historically-based jewelry might be, or what sort of historic jewelry I make? I’ve chosen a few representative pieces intended to give you a taste of the variety you’ll actually find at my internet and market shops.

Historical pieces fall into to two basic categories – “needs” and “fun”. These are my modern categories and have NOTHING to do with what a pre-1600’s person would have thought. “Needs” were the basic items that people needed to hold their clothes together and make their outfits functional. And “fun” is the cool bits of decorative jewelry that we would think of as “bling”. In addition to these items youi’ll find a fairly extensive collection of items that are considered to be “regalia” – pendants and other items that are specifically related to the ranks and awards that are a part of the SCA, a medieval reenactment society – www.sca.org

 Penannular brooches were the historic “universal closure”. Each of these brooches were formed and forged by me.

penannular brooches

These brooches are made in brass, copper, and nickel silver and silver, and range in size from about an 1 inch to about 3 1/2 inches. They are suitable for closing the neckline of a tunic, attaching or closing cloaks, and many other things.

Another classic “need” from about 1200 AD on is the spiral headed dress pin.Nickel pins set of six

These pins were used extensively, through at least the Civil War, to hold clothing together. Although the majority of these pins were used on women’s clothing, men also used them on things like ruffs.

On the more frivolous, or fun, side we have historic “bling”. This silver toiletry set, while functional, is still a symbol of wealth and prestige, and would have been thoroughly enjoyed, and treasured, by either a Viking or Anglo-Saxon woman.

silver toiletry set

Historic necklaces come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. These three necklaces represent three different cultures – based on North African pieces with a pendant from Egypt,


             and one based on Persian finds,


and another based on Roman glass.


If we go later in time, closer to 1600, we find the classic Renaissance style necklace and earring sets that continue to be used down to our own time.

Etsy 56 main

And then there is that third category previously mentioned – regalia.

Etsy 111

                                                          A Laurel pendant.

Etsy 144

                                                        A Pelican hat badge.

Etsy 167

                                                            A Knight’s chain.

And a sterling silver Baronial coronet.