Maîtresse Aénor d’Anjou

purple bliaut-laurell dress.jpg (72630 bytes)Hail and Well Met! In the SCA, I am Aénor d’Anjou, Companion of the Order of the Pearl and Mistress of the Laurel for 12th Century clothing and accesories. The dress pictured to the left is patterned after the two excerpts from the Winchester Bible (ca. 1165) below.

winchester cloak-maunch small.jpg (108278 bytes) winchester half circle, maunch.jpg (116817 bytes)

In  persona,  I am a lady  in the court of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.   Her lifespan is the time period of my research.. My lord, Master Efenwealt Wystle and I are the parents of two wonderful boys, Aiend and Liam and are members of House Bellatrix.

Within the Society for Creative Anachronism,  I am primarily a seamstress, focusing on garb from the 11th through early 13th C. of the Angevin Empire (England, Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine). I am very interested in the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine and have researched and created outfits from most of the clothing styles worn throughout her lifetime. I think she is one of the most influential and powerful women in history.

12th Century clothing is so delightful in its simplicity.  The clean straight lines of the tunics and dresses are elegant and beautiful. Working with these simple patterns and creating beautiful works of art with them is what I find the most joy in.

Below are links to more information about my work:

Most of my time is taken up with my store, my children and sewing my Angevin Treasures line of historical costuming. We merchant at many events a year, including Pennsic and many events in the  Kingdom of Atlantia. Stop by sometime and introduce yourself!

I also do some painting on canvas painted tapestries,  and on paper and wood. I have started a life-long project of painting scenes from the 13th C. Manesse codex as tapestries. I have 4 1/2 finished so far. I truly enjoy painting whether it be tiny or large. I have begun to do some scribal work- a couple scrolls on paper so far, The latest, a Boreas Scroll ( a Baronial arts award) for a canton member, in the style of the master of Burgundy book of Prayer. This is my first scroll using gauche paint. I quite like it! Also my first scroll in this hand (Batarde). I learned it for this project.   I have done 2 non- paper scrolls so far.  The second non-paper scroll is for the same award, painted onto an art bag that I made for Lady Lucia Bellini to carry her Scrivening supplies. I am a believer in the idea that all award scrolls shouldn’t just be done on paper to be stuck under someone’s bed. I prefer to do some that are usable objects.

I am also interested in the crafts created during my period of interest. I have learned how to embroider the stitches used in the Bayeux Tapestry (11th C. Norman) which are outline and laid work and couching. I love couching so much that my first couching project was a 1 ¼” solid design around the 5 yard long hem of an 11th C. gown. My best project so far (in anything, I think) is a linen coif I dyed and couched, again for my lord. As far as I know coifs weren’t embroidered until later periods- but read my documentation for some of my reasoning in doing this.

Some of my newer projects are 12th C. gloves. I  have very little primary documentation on these so it was a trial and error process. I made the first one in linen, hand sewn with linen thread, and couched with wool in a medallion on the back of the hand in the fashion of the glove that Henry II wears in the Fontevraut effigy. This first glove is a favour for my champion, Eogan Og MacLabruinn. The next will be couched in gold-work so I can learn how to do that- and given to my lord as a favour. Then I should have the pattern down well enough to make them for me to wear!

If you also research 12th C. costume, you might have noticed a general lack of books that have much of anything to say about this century. At least I have! Many books that say they have “1066-whatever,” actually only have a couple 11th C. things and go right into 13th C. That’s if your lucky. Many don't even start until the 13th century.  I have been looking seriously for these for several years, and finally learned to do a lot of my own “redacting” from illustrations and sculptures of the day. I feel I have enough knowledge of the time period that my educated guesses are often as good (sometimes better) than the costumer who is dressing for stage and researching a very broad time period. I have come across a couple of books that I disagree heartily with the author’s interpretation (mostly on the Bliaut- but don’t get me started there!!!)

My Household and retinue:Img_0118.jpg (108944 bytes)

Links to friends and family: