Discovery of the orgin of the squares on the left.

The V&A owns these three pieces, and has since 1863 when they were fdonated by a German woman named Bock. Not much has been known other than they were German and 13th Century. I discovered a photo on a German language musuem artwork site, a huge index of over one millions photos of works of art. It's a daunting place to look for things.

I have never believed the right piece, the pointed longer one, belongs with the squares, and as it turned out they were acquired a year apart. I think they are from the same area, but are not by the same person and not for the same piece. Having seem them mere inches away in the flesh I can say the design and working style are just too dissimilar.


Click pic to enlarge

When searching in Halberstadt's museum listing I discovered many new pieces of beadwork I hadn't seen before, one of them was a textile fragment likely from a cloth for an altar or wall hanging "antipendium".

Almost immediately I knew what i was seeing It features a band of silk the bottom has tassles capped with beaded roundels and in the center one very lonely, yet familar looking saint made from a square of beaded parchment...


Click pic to enlarge
This photo is from a book from the 1920's pre color photography, it's been colored at the press, so it's not exaclty correct. But from the colors represented you can tell the beads are the same as the V&A pieces. Cobalt blue, turquise, coral, and gold.. Pearls and "plättchen" have been looted just as the V&A squares. The rows of beads match as well. AS you will see below.

Click pic to enlarge
This is my digitally recontructed example of what this edging might have looked like complete with the two squares from the V&A in London.
Graphic comparison of beads, and number of rows for an estimation of size.

I am attmepting to judge size to verify these are infact from the same item. I thought since they are so simliar, I'd show my work on this problem. All pieces were reduced and rotated to fit with in set dimensions using guide lines. So getting the pics to all be roughly the same size was key place to start to see if the are actually the same size in real life. Someone is gonna ask me to prove it, so here. Enjoy.

THEORY: If the number of beaded rows to fill two identical shaped areas is (roughtly) the same, they should be in theory be the same size. If it was a bigger piece reduced down to match a smaller piece in dimensional size the largerwould have more visiable rows of beads than the smaller piece becasue in reality while the beads are the same size there is more area to fill and would require more beads I more rows to complete it. Make sense?

I also figured since they have started to look familar now I have have named them after three brothers whom they resemble to make referring to them easier. Ladies and Gents, I present - The Bee Gees.

 
Barry (V&A) Robin (Halberstadt) Maurice (V&A)

Barry one is most simliar to Robin over in Germany so this is the one I used to establish they are from the same hand.

The easiest way to show the rows of bead was to take the clearest one, (Barry here) and draw over the lines of his rows. I did it in red as you can see.

The number of rows around the halo and the way the corners have been filled (I'd called it mitered if it were woodwork) are our keys here judging Robin's size using barry as our guide.

Robin has as you can see has an almost identical design as Barry sans the sexy beard and can of aquanet.

His corners aren't filled with any shapes as Maurice's are, but his halo is the same as his bald twin's

Instead of redrawing the lines of Robin's beads and going blind, I overlayed Barry's bead outline on Robin's rows, which I think proves the case better than anything else could. While Robin is not a great shot there are clear highlights to match lines up with.

The pictures below demonstrate the simalarities.

Since Maurice lives with Barry in London, and I've visited them both in person and can vouch (as the picture above can) that they are the same size and "match" in all the right ways, as it were. He's mainly here to fill out my theme and look pretty.

Besides, when I was in my Beegees phase growing up I never liked Maurice. So there.

If anyone has a clue what saints these guys are suposed to be, let me know. I'm guessing Barry is Jesus from the super fancy halo and divne duds, but I've been known to be wrong a time or two.

 
Key for below: |B=Barry | R=Robin | M=Maurice |

I am 100% postive that Barry and Maurice at the V&A were originally on the textile fragment at the Halberstadt. Perhaps one day that's one Beegees reunion that can happen.

 
Copyright 2000 Jen Funk Segrest (Elspeth Grizel of Dunfort) http://www.medievalbeads.com