I got sick after Sundays little stay at the castle and now I am totally bored since I don’t have the energy to sew, so irritating since I now have time and need to do a new set of breeches and a coat for an upcoming event to Peter, and a new jacket for me. But I started researching and looking up what I wanted style wise and came across some of the pictures that I took a year ago when I did my internship at the Royal Swedish Armoury, "Livrustkammaren" as it is called in Sweden, and realised I had quite some pictures that I think many more costume nerds would like to see. When I was there last year I didn’t have a blog, but Isis asked if she could share some 17th century things I photographed when there, so there are some pictures of things you can see here, and here.
But I took a lot of pictures, how could I not when I got the chance to go inside some of the glass cases with things inside!? It was so cool to be able to get so close as one could smell the old royal garments, touch them and oh how one restrained oneself from wanting to take them down and try them on! I was so lucky to be stationed in the museum during the one time per year they did their inventory so that I was able to do this, and then on my last day after 10 whole weeks in the museum itself, I got to go visit their huge storage with everything not on display and go through some things there too.
So now I thought I would give everyone not located near Stockholm and the Royal Swedish Armoury a chance to see what is hidden behind the thick stone walls of the palace basement!
The Royal Armoury is a museum that has most things concerning royal life, mostly war related and clothes(!), and that is why I chose to do my internship there. Their collection is mainly 18th century and forward, but they have some unique pieces from as far back as the 16th century. One example of that is this lovely velvet cloak with embroidered golden crowns and sadly not so many pearls anymore, but this is the coronation mantle worn by Eric XIV on his coronation in 1561, and I got to get this close to it.At first I helped with a new exhibition about Gustaf II Adolf and mainly his wife Maria Eleonora which was called “Queen of hearts” after the fact that she after her king’s death in 1632 kept his heart in a little box for quite some time. This fact has made historians throughout time make her up to be a crazy lady so mad by grief she slept with his heart in a box by her bed, and made their daughter go kiss her dead father on the forehead every night in the open casket till the funeral(which is true as far as I know), but they forgot the fact that she was from a different culture where this was done normally, and so there goes the theory about her madness out the window, although she did love and grief for her husband deeply.
Me looking nerdy holding the queens portrait repro before it was places on the wall.
Me and curator Ann doing inventory in the childrens room in the stationary exhibition. Why do I always look so wierd and stiff?
Anyways. In the work on this exhibition I got the chance to touch and photograph some awesome things that belonged to these two people who lived back in the early 17th century, and here are some things from that time. First out is Gustaf II Adolf’s lit de parade outfit with lovely laces. It was a bit weird to hang over it inside the glass case thinking a dead man wore these clothes over 300 years ago. Really weird, but at the same time one was filled up with a sense of respect also for the life and history he made.
Next thing up is the famous heart cloth, a towel which was used to place the deceased king’s heart inside to transport it to the queen and her box. You can see the printing from the blood and the hearts shape and size. In a corner is some sort of embroidered emblem belonging to the man who transported the heart back to Sweden from Lützen.
Here is a commanders stick that is actually a, for that period, really expensive looking glass, or binoculars. It became my duty to make a steady construction for it to hang in the showcase, which made me really nervous but I managed, and the man in charge was really nice and let me do it without gloves so I have been holding an object also used by Gustaf II Adolf in war around 1627, top that!
Here are some just repeats of what Isis blogged about using my pictures, so I refrain from writing anything much about it, but it is embroidered gloves from the early 17th century, belonging to Maria Eleonora, a traveling altar belonging to her too, a neck lace that are said to have been ripped off of the kings neck in Poland during a feast by a polish low class girl who didn’t know who he was, that he later sent back for his wife to keep, and some pieces of different cloth used for their wedding.
There were also a few pieces of jewellery that belonged to the queen on display, and some coins, but I will show two beautiful pieces, such details! One is a regular pendant many of welth wore during this time, and the second is a mourning pendant with a cute little skull hanging at the bottom.