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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Period Fake Ermine?

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  • Heather Rose Jones
    ... I see what you mean about the spots, but on the other hand, the spots in this pictures also clearly aren t whole hanging ermine tails (the origin of the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 17 7:16 PM
      At 6:49 PM -0500 7/17/02, E House wrote:
      >I've been looking through my image files (which always indicates
      >trouble). On some of the more realistic portraits around 1490-1520,
      >I've noticed that some of the ermine illustrated whispers "fake,
      >fake" to me.  
      >The ermine(?) is being used as lining; it appears very thin relative
      >to the ermine shown in other, equally realistic linings. There are
      >no hanging tails, but rather small flat black spots. The whole
      >thing is on a much smaller scale than any ermine I've seen--too
      >thin, with the 'tails' too small and close together. In nearly all
      >the cases taht I see that make me suspect a fake, the 'ermine' is
      >being used as a lining, and at the neck and center front of the
      >garment you can see a little bit of it rolled over the edges.
      >A couple of examples of the 'can that be real ermine?' paintings:
      > (more of a maybe)
      >The two that set my mind ticking:
      >(By the way, if you right click on an enlarged image in the photos
      >section and select properties it'll give you a short URL like this
      >that you can cutnpaste without having a paragraph-length link!)
      >So I'm seeing these options:
      >A) The people sitting for the portraits weren't actually wearing
      >ermine, and the painter added it in--on a smaller scale, because it
      >worked better visually with the garment the sitter was actually
      >B) a fashion for using the tiniest ermines possible, and possibly
      >shearing the fur so that it looked more like velvet
      >C) some other type of fur with spots, or with spots inked on
      >OR, and this is the one I'm hoping for:
      >D) a fashion for putting black spots on white velvet (that
      >bleed-through-from-the-back thing) to resemble ermine.

      I see what you mean about the spots, but on the other hand, the spots
      in this pictures also clearly aren't whole hanging ermine tails (the
      origin of the fashion) which isn't all that surprising given the
      relatively close fit of the garments. Whole hanging tails are all
      very well on cloak linings, but for sleeve linings there might be
      good reason to include just a spot of color for fashion's sake, but
      not the whole tail.. Regarding the fur being "thin" -- wild ermine
      _is_ an awfully short fur. The wild ermine furs that I've had my
      hands on have had a hair length of around a quarter inch.

      Heather Rose Jones
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