07 July 2015

Coronation Tunic for King Hrodir III: Material Culture 31: A&S50 Challenge

Coronation Tunic for King Hrodir III: Material Culture 31: A&S50 Challenge
Orchestrated by Sayyeda al-Kaslaania
Completed by House Wortham and friends
Julia May

King Hrodir III and Queen Anne II of Northshield

In preparation for his Coronation, when Hrodir was asked what clothing inspired him, he pointed to the Coronation tunic of King Roger II of Sicily.
Blue Tunicella (Dalmatica). Palermo, 2nd quarter of the 12th century. Blue and red velvet, gold embroidery, gold appliqués with cloisonné enamel and filligree, pearls; l. 141,5 cm, 343 cm wide at hem. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum http://www.khm.at/Archiv/Ausstellungen/nobiles/en/02/main.html
I enlisted the help of Baroness Deja, Mistress Ainsleigh, Mistress Gunnora, and Lady Niamh to determine the best resources for copying the adornment. We quickly determined how to do it, and that it would take hundreds of hours more than we had.

Instead, we looked to our stashes of fabric to see what would suit a King, and consulted the Queen's Royal Clothier, Mistress Cassandra, on the colors she was choosing for Queen Anne.

We settled on the silk brocade as primary ornamentation which would be used for both, and selected colors to coordinate. The black is a velvet brocade provided by Baroness Deja. The tan silk-wool twill (bottom of the picture) was in my collection.

I used my favorite tunic pattern (opens a .pdf) to make the garment. This pattern is great for prosperous men because the center body panel is narrower than the shoulder width. The shoulders don't slump down arms with the pattern, allowing a neater fit and great ease of movement. The pattern was used throughout Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages.

While the Honorable Lady Lyneya was tablet weaving the alpaca/silk trim for the neck line, I started making the tunic. Functioning by rote, I made the facing wrong. Thankfully I had enough fabric that I could make a new one!

The original tunic has an offset neck opening.

Meanwhile, many artisans started working on adding pearls to the brocade pieces. We finished each section of brocade individually, then appliqued the final pieces to the garment. This allowed several people to be working on the pearling at their own homes all at the same time.

Mistress Gunnora and Lady Niamh worked out the design for the cuffs. Baroness Ellen and I worked out the design for the sleeves. Mistress Cassandra provided the enameled "coins" in the sleeves.

Together, dozens of hours were put into this garment. Baroness Ellen, Baroness Deja, Lady Niamh, Dame Siobhan, Dame Marwen, Dame Medb, Baroness Khadijah, Baroness Amalia, Baroness Ekaterina, Lady Ulricka, Lord Oswald, Sayyeda Samia, and others all laid pearls and jet beads in little rows for hours. We created garb fit for a King.

Prince Hrodir III, claiming his right to the throne of Northshield

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