13th Century: Cap and Belt of Fernando de la Certa

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Cap & belt  belonging to Ferdinanado de la Certa, died aged 20 , 1211 or 1275, Spanish

According to the article by Benjamin L. Wild (2011): Emblems and enigmas: Revisiting the ‘sword’ belt of Fernando de la Cerda, Journal of Medieval History, 37:4, 378-396.

In 1942, in the monastery of Santa Maria de los Regalis Huelgas (Burgos, Isapniya), served as a place of coronation and burial place of Spanish kings from the time of its founder, Alfonso VIII, was the tomb of Fernando de la Cerda, the eldest son of Alfonso X of Castile. Inside the tomb stone was placed the body 19-year-old Infanta in a luxurious, richly embroidered silk dress. Mastery of work, wealth and beauty, and not inferior to the waist, the waist is on the Infanta. This belt, unlike other clothing, jewelry heraldic symbols of Castile and Leon, had the marks of the royal houses of England, France and Navarre; presumably on the buckle emblem of Champagne. On the belt, there are also nine other heraldic symbols, not known in the thirteenth century Castile. Where does this thing and whose work he did not know until now, but there is debate about the three versions of its origin: Spanish, French or English.
Basis belt size 1920 mm long and 42 mm wide was woven on the plates and decorated with tiny blue and white glass beads. Inner face with black light green silk embroidered with gold thread. Both ends of the belt are attached two silver gilt plate about 150 mm long. To one of them is fastened the buckle and the other serving as the shank, has a trapezoidal shape and tapers somewhat towards the end. Both plates are decorated with pearls and sapphires, each taken four coated with a thin layer of enamel shield with heraldic images. Heraldic shields placed on the shank, rotated by 90 degrees with respect to all the others who are on the belt. This testifies to the manner of wearing this belt, which included hanging Shank – like the image is on the statue of King John Lackland of England (1199 – 1216), which is in Worcester Cathedral. Belt buckle has a trapezoidal shape. Its hinged lid, designed to regulate the length of the belt and clip it at the right place, is one tripartite shield. Cover decorated with pearls, sapphires and one carnelian.

19 silver gilt belt pads divide into 20 equal parts by 75 mm. Each pad is attached on both sides, in the center – the pearl inset. Arched suspension-mount disposed between the first and second plates (counting from the buckle). It is also made of gilded silver and decorated with pearls and sapphires, repeating motif buckle and tang.
20 sections belt decorated with alternating patterns. 10 of them are filled with intricate geometrical ornament in diamond-shaped framework, none of the images are not repeated, although they are very similar – including on a blue and white color scheme. 10 other sections filled constituents heraldic shields, some of which are repeated also on the buckle and the shank. Shields also made ​​in white and blue color, so it is unlikely that they reflect the actual color shown on them emblems. White and blue colors were not a couple inherent Heraldry Europe XIII century. Shields keep embroidered with white beads birds sitting on divided into 8 segments wheels. The remaining space between the wheel and shield busy little blue birds. Attempts to identify the heraldic symbols of those boards still causing heated debate and has not been successful: no consensus on this issue has not been worked out.

Text from “Bead Embroidery” by Joan Edwards”

“In Spain, too, examples of very old beading are not unknown, and a beaded cap was recovered from the tomb of Ferdinanado de la Certa who was buried in Las Huelgas, Burgos in 1275. It is worked in blue glass beads, seed pearls and coral beads on a linen material stretched over a framework of wood and bound around the edges with gold foil. Rampant lions and double headed eagles* cover the cap on a chequered background, and like the head dresses from Mount Carmel the cap may have been considered of some value, or it would not have been used for burial.”

*Grizel’s Note:

 Double headed eagles are also more a later period German charge, not a early period spanish one. Especially since I also have the accompanying armourial surcote. It is covered with the arms as well (not beaded so it was not included here), and they are the more typical 3 Tower-type castles on it.

The author of the above quote must not have seen a good picture of the piece because her sketches are quite awful, I won’t use her drawings on this site as they are quite ugly and more confusing than anything else.

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