Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Norse Disc Brooches

Most people are familiar with the Norse Turtle Brooches. They look like this:

The problem is, that if you are into Norse garb that is, getting replicas of the turtle brooches will set you back at least $80, easily.  I've seen about an average of $120 for a set.  This isn't good if you aren't sure if you like Norse or if you don't want to do Norse all the time.     It's an investiment that isn't for everyone.

In comes the far less talked about but very much used in period disc brooches.

These were sometimes decorated with gems or enamal themselves.  Other times, they were more just sculpted metal like the above.   Both the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse had disc brooches for fastening clothing (probably due to all the trading/raiding between the two!).   These brooches were used for fastening apron gowns just like the turtle brooches.  The good thing is, you can typically make your own disc brooches for a lot cheaper.

Here are mine:

I took old earrings from a vintage jewerly sale and took the backs off of the discs.  I then hot glued pins to the back of the discs.  Period?  No.  Will it look it  from the face of them?  Yes!   Besides, these were each only $1.  The bag of 50 pin backs was maybe $3.  $6 for three sets of brooches is an easy investment for anyone that is interested in Norse garb.   I really love the plain metal one as it has four holes for adding beads at the bottom of each brooch - it originally had dangling beads that I took off the disc.   The plain one really looks "period" for the 7th - 11th Centuries - the disc brooches were being used for a very long time.  You'll find examples going back before the SCA period (600-1600) and well into the late SCA period.  If you find some nice round 1980's earrings, buy them to change them into brooches.  It's easy and cheap.  


Post a Comment