53756Dog Collars and Medieval Buckles
- May 31, 2006If I wanted to do a super-authentic dog collar (which I do), I would
do a ton of research (which I have, and still almost-am, though I'm
out of leads and anything from here on in is serendipity) and try to
match materials as much as possible.
Obviously, the most authentic medieval buckles would be ones that are
surviving finds from the middle ages. They're not -insanely-
expensive. The real question in my mind would be one of strength.
Would it be safe to trust a pair of small-ish centuries-old buckles to
continue to hold in use today, or do I go hunting for the best
possible reproductions? Would those be cast, or forged? Okay; maybe
I need to look harder for the London finds book, since my library
won't ILL it for me.
I'm departing from Mistress Alianora Munro's belief that the
well-depicted unicorn collars would map well to existing dog collars;
examining the Unicorn Tapestries at the Met's web site, one does not
see the one-buckle-of-strap-width pattern on any of the dogs, though
it is on the unicorn.
At the moment http://tinyurl.com/rbdbg is the closure method I'm
hoping to try, though some cheaper experiments will be done before I
go all out :-) Some of the other closures, I cannot fathom at all.
Speaking of collar issues, leash loops are a quandry.
http://tinyurl.com/qjtem shows a typical one. Mistress Alianora Munro
simply uses a standard D-ring, but to me that would stand out worse
than a zipper on a kirtle! The closest I can find in the modern world
are certain cabinet and drawer pulls, but they tend to be cast of zinc
(a relatively weak metal) and coated with whatever they're supposed to
imitate. Period references seem to refer to the leash loops as
"swivels", but I am uncertain how they are supposed to swivel. Round
like the hands of a clock, or flopping side to side so the ring
doesn't snag on everything they pass? All the pictures seem to show
them upright in the same position.
While I'm at it, the same source (Metropolitan Museum of Art's unicorn
tapestries) has a great depiction of somebody actually attaching a
line to a collar . . . but the knot is like nothing I can place or
recreate. http://tinyurl.com/m85gr . Perhaps the artist simply did
not know whereof she spoke? I know that uncoupling, or releasing the
hounds to give chase, was a task for a six-year-old boy learning to be
a dog carer, so the knot can't have been THAT hard to release under
pressure? Or do the frequent expenditures for couples imply that the
line was simply cut to release the dogs, letting people worry about
getting the rope off later? Post-hunt and during-hunt images from the
Unicorn Tapestries don't show tag ends of rope on the fine collars,
though . . .
On the last image, you can see what I take to be writing. Would it be
minimally intrusive to use a similar font to write "Service Dog" on
the collar in modern English, in order to make the marking accessible
to modern peoples without having to produce an illuminated doctor's
note attesting to the service-dogness of my dog each time? Should the
reverse of that doctor's note include documentation of certain dogs
accompanying period people at all times, should any object to the
introduction of such a modern thing as a service dog in a
Bookwyrm and Empath, the service dog who will ultimately wear this.
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