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  • George Irvin
    Greetings Everyone I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer to. What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages?
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Greetings Everyone
      I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer to. What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I start this particular investigation?...suggestons anyone?
      I remain
      James Irvin

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Amy Heilveil
      ... ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I start this particular investigation?...suggestons anyone? ...
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2005
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        >>>>What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle
        ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent
        examples? Were might I start this particular
        investigation?...suggestons anyone?
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Check manuscripts from your area... say, France or England or Italy.
        There are a lot of bedroom scenes showing coverings and pillows,
        particularly those with the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist.

        Smiles,
        Despina
      • Tiffany Brown
        I ve also seen a certain number of cushions and pillows that are extant. (you ll definately want to match them to manuscript illustrations for useage - some
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2005
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          I've also seen a certain number of cushions and pillows that are
          extant. (you'll definately want to match them to manuscript
          illustrations for useage - some cushions are for chairs) I remember a
          few embroidered cushions in "the art of embroidery" by Schuette &
          Muller-Christiansen (I think the US edition has a different title, but
          also with embroidery in it). There are a couple of spanish items
          called pillow cases (they are rectangular rather than square, and no
          longer stuffed) made from brocaded fabrics in glorious colour in
          "al-andalus: the art of islamic spain" by J.Dodds (ed)
          I'm sure there are a few more cushions and pillows out there, but I've
          never heard of an early period (may not be your focus, but it is mine)
          bedspread or blanket of any kind, although we may get lucky.

          I've seen manuscripts with lovely patterned bedspreads, and I think I
          might have read accounts of bed coverings .Try C.R. Dodwell "Pictorial
          arts of the West" the chapter on embroidery and fabric arts has a real
          lot of info (for a pretty colour art book) on lost embroideries
          800-1200AD from textual accounts, it's probably here i read stuff.
          This to me indicates some decorative bedspreads were in use (at least
          by those rich enough to show off), although if additional layers were
          used underneath I don't know.

          Manuscripts are great - scenes of the madonna giving birth or various
          kings on their deathbed are traditional scenes often repeated, and
          usually include a few of the bed furnishings. (don't forget about bed
          hangings too)

          I'm sure there are accounts in period fiction and inventories that
          will tell a little more about how many and how expensive bed coverings
          and acessories were. Conversely there are probably accounts of the
          poor sleeping in their cloaks (or whatever rag substiutes for a
          cloak).

          And don't forget that narrowing you search a little (in time, location
          or rank) will help.

          good luck, and tell us what you find out,
          Teffania


          On 6/1/05, Amy Heilveil <amyheilveil@...> wrote:
          > >>>>What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle
          > ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent
          > examples? Were might I start this particular
          > investigation?...suggestons anyone?
          > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
          >
          > Check manuscripts from your area... say, France or England or Italy.
          > There are a lot of bedroom scenes showing coverings and pillows,
          > particularly those with the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist.
          >
          > Smiles,
          > Despina
          >
          >
          >
          > ----------------------------------------------------
          > This is the Authentic SCA eGroup
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Amy Heilveil
          Wills and inventories, of course! Look through those as well. There has been conversation about this on this list before, so I would also recommend the
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 1, 2005
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            Wills and inventories, of course! Look through those as well.

            There has been conversation about this on this list before, so I would
            also recommend the archives of the group. The links and files
            sections of the group are also a trove of information.

            Smiles,
            Despina
          • Tom Rettie
            ... bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I start this
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 1, 2005
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              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "George Irvin" <jmcdade@p...> wrote:

              > I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer to. What were common
              bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters.
              Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I start this particular
              investigation?...suggestons anyone?

              You may find this article helpful:

              http://oak.atlantia.sca.org/18/18bedofware.pdf

              Regards,

              Fin
            • Susan Farmer
              ... What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 7, 2005
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                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "George Irvin" <jmcdade@p...> wrote:
                > Greetings Everyone
                > I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer to.
                What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages?
                Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent
                examples? Were might I start this particular
                investigation?...suggestons anyone?
                > I remain
                > James Irvin
                >

                One realy good place to look is "The Italian Renaissance interior,
                1400-1600" by Peter Thornton.

                Lovely artwork -- useful information.

                Jerusha
              • Julie Stackable, SCA Margaret Hepburn
                I ve been researching domestic interiors specifically for me - era/persona (1570 s Scotland). Looking in manuscripts, wills & inventories mostly (not a lot of
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 8, 2005
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                  I've been researching domestic interiors specifically for me -
                  era/persona (1570's Scotland). Looking in manuscripts, wills &
                  inventories mostly (not a lot of illuminated manuscripts for this
                  era & place unfortunately!) What I've got so far? Pillows and
                  bolsters, pillow cases looking just like modern ones (taking
                  advantage of selvedges for the edges), sheets are almost always
                  listed in pairs (top and bottom, no gathered elastic obviously),
                  quilted coverlets, plain embroidered coverlets (sort of like a 2nd
                  decorated top sheet), fur lined coverlets, pillow biers (sort of
                  equivalent to a pillow sham), straw filled mattresses, down and
                  feather filled mattresses, lots of cushion covers in you name it -
                  quilting & embroidery - basically whatever you can put textile-wise
                  on a cushion. Also, don't forget the curtains and valances that
                  typically enclose a bed - I've found simple lined woollen ones to
                  expensive silk and velvet embroidery covered ones. Plus hangings for
                  the walls to help enclose heat & keep out damp - again, plain,
                  embroidered, painted, you name it.

                  Domestic interiors were a favorite in the illuminated manuscripts,
                  you should find a wealth of detail for the era you are looking for.
                  Good luck.
                  Cheers,
                  Margaret Hepburn

                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Farmer" <sfarmer@s...>
                  wrote:
                  > --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "George Irvin"
                  <jmcdade@p...> wrote:
                  > > Greetings Everyone
                  > > I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer
                  to.
                  > What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle
                  ages?
                  > Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent
                  > examples? Were might I start this particular
                  > investigation?...suggestons anyone?
                  > > I remain
                  > > James Irvin
                • nprive1
                  ... What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages? Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent examples? Were might I
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 8, 2005
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                    > I have a general question that I trust someone has an answer to.
                    What were common bed coverings in Western Europe in the Middle ages?
                    Sheets, Blankets, Pillows/Bolsters. Does anyone know of extent
                    examples? Were might I start this particular
                    investigation?...suggestons anyone?


                    I recommend _The Book of Fine Linen_ by FRANCOISE DE BONNEVILLE as an
                    overview - you may be able to find it thru ILL. It has lengthy
                    discussions of the history of household linens (mostly focusing on
                    hemp, linen, and cotton items), and makes a nice overview. The
                    illustrations are mouthwatering, too :)

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