Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Jewelry of the Caskets

One of the most fabulous things of an embroidered casket is its 'jewelry', that is the little bits that
Casket in the MET collection (64.101.1335). Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964.  You can see the
two bottles and the inkwell and pounce pot in the front of the interior.  
make it so authentic and truthfully make you squeal in the way you do when you see little details in a dollhouse.  It's the ornate hardware, the little bottles for toilet water, and the inkwell and pounce pot.

I have had the opportunity to see so many historic pieces in public and private collections and it is one of the first things I oooh and ahhhh about - when a piece has its original bottles and inkwells.  Over time, Richard and I realized that the interior dimensions of all the dividers were based around these little items.  The depth and width of other areas were dependent on knowing what the size of the bottle would be.  So that leads to us understanding that this 17th century effort was something more coordinated as the exterior sizes of the embroidered pieces were driven by knowing things made by other artisans.
A highly decorated pounce pout in an interior tray from a
casket in the MET collection (64.101.1335).
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 

We HAVE to have these frosting pieces for our elaborately decorated cakes!  Even before the first box was built, I have been 'on it' as part of the items that have to be reproduced to finish the project off.  I know many people ask me over and over when they will be ready or done and I am pretty close to the vest as engineering and reproduction can take many twists and turns.  At the beginning I did enough work to get to the 'we can do it' point and then have slowly worked on it until the group was ready.  Some things have to be made in larger batches and it didn't make sense for me to provide the inkwells before you knew what casket you were buying.

Richard and I have decided on four casket types, based on the versions we have cataloged from the 17th century boxes.  Two are more simple and only require 1-2 bottles and no inkwells.  Not all caskets in the 17th century had inkwells, but almost all had bottles.  The inkwells require a tiny tray to be built to house them and every time you cut lots of small parts and construct them, you vastly increase the cost of the final box.  So now, just like then, we have made only the double casket and flat casket with doors to have spots to put inkwells inside.

Many might look at the little tray and wonder what goes there in the super small less than 1" square spot - well the inkwells do.  This series of blogs starts the 'how the inkwells were made'.  And for those who have been waiting...

Yes... they are ready.

The empty large compartments in purple on left and right are to hold bottles.  The super small purple squares are for the inkwell and pounce pot.

No comments:

Post a Comment