Monday, March 9, 2015

Period Barding Based on the Visconti-Sforza tarot cards

The Visconti-Sforza tarot cards were painted around 1451 AD.  The cards depict members of the Visconti and Sforza noble families of Milan wearing period outfits and in period settings.  The details, compositions, colors are exquisite.  You can view many of these cards at the following link to the Beinecke Library at Yale:

 http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/visconti-tarot

I found a stash of leather and suede on sale at Goodwill so I spent the winter making period halters and barding and some fantasy projects--all of which I will share with you.  In preparation for an SCA tournament this year based on the Tournament Rules of King Rene of France, I decided to try and make a copy of the horse barding on one of the Visconti-Sforza tarot cards.








I cut pieces of blue suede and tied and stitched the pieces together as best I could to make strap barding as depicted on the card. You can see the closthespins that I used as temporary holders.  Poor Blessi spent a lot of time this winter with clothes pins attached to various items put on him.  Don't worry he got lots of treats for his patience.




Note that the white, lacy saddle cloth is not period and will be replaced in the final version. (Blessi wore the modified lace curtain in the wedding he was invited to last summer.)  The straps are embellished with gilt studs and metal ornaments (pieces of a belt from Goodwill--gotta love Goodwill).





I have also made a gown, coat, skirt, bodice, and underslip to match this outfit.  The pieces contain historical elements but the entire outfit is not historically accurate.  Altogether Blessi and I should be quite the fashion plate this summer.  I wonder if I can teach Blessi the Spanish Walk so we can make a truly memorable entrance for the judges.



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