57964Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: wriggle room
- Jul 7, 2009On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM,
>Lots and lots of reading. And museum-going. And image viewing.
> So, good Gentles, what say you? How do each of you go about determining the
> document-ablity of your own persona, garb, artifacts and all?
I start with trying to get a picture of the timeframe I'm going for,
and study in order to better understand what it should look like.
After that, I look primarily for evidence of things during that
timeframe, though I may also look earlier.
I generally avoid looking later unless there is a source that is
describing earlier information, or something that shows a trend.
For example, if I find fabric X with pattern Y before my timeframe
(but not during), but can also see that it has survived to after my
timeframe, then I can use the two points to make a reasonable
assumption that the pattern continued to exist in the timeframe I'm
interested in, barring information that would contradict this (such as
a sumptuary law specifically prohibiting it). Likewise, if I see X
garment, but the only construction information is post the period in
question, I won't hesitate to use the later information to make the
For food I often look at post-cutoff sources, but I analyze them
critically based on earlier evidence. If you find a 1640 recipe for a
food that is mentioned (but not otherwise described) in 1590, then
would it not be reasonable to assume that they are the same, barring
So I guess what all this means is that I believe post-cutoff sources
can be used, provided you've first done your homework regarding your
primary time period to be able to understand whether something is
plausible. You cannot just arbitrarily make that decision, though,
and you can in no wise determine that X number of years after a
particular date means it is appropriate. A 1601 painting could be
showing clothing that just came into fashion the summer of 1601, for
all you know, unless you've done your research.
-E. Godric Logan
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