Re: Barrel-shaped leather costrel build (pic heavy!)
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:27 pm
Leahcim wrote:MasterStrong wrote:Taurinor wrote:For historic accuracy purposes, I should have used thicker leather and welt pieces, but live and learn!
I'm all about using what you have on hand. I feel there's a truth to that even when it makes it less than perfectly historically accurate.
I guarantee they also did the exact same thing of using what they had on hand.... Just because the surviving examples was thicker... It may be the reason they DID survive... And a large portion would have been made of literally what was available
I get what y'all saying, but for this piece of gear for my persona, I disagree with that logic. I don't think it would have been made from what was on hand for a couple of reasons.
I, Taurinor/Elliot, the person on the other side of the computer screen, made this costrel, but the person I portray in Middle-earth, Ned the Breelander, did not make it "in universe". As a Breelander, Ned has access to trade that might come and go along the East Road and to local craftsmen. Since Ned is not a leatherworker by trade, he is much more likely to purchase a leather bottle from someone who is than try to make it himself, and the professional in Bree that Ned purchases the bottle from is probably going to have the right leather for the job (or will know how to get it). Practically speaking, the thinner leather doesn't work as well because the lugs holding the strap aren't thick enough, so they flex, and the wiggling back and forth means the lining isn't as durable. I didn't know that would be an issue when I made this costrel, but someone living in a society where leather bottles are common certainly would!
That's not to say that making do is wrong for all personas, all the time - in some situations it adds a lot of realism to an impression! Greg's spoon-handle lid-lifter is one example that comes to mind of something that would have been worked out in the field with the materials available, and it's one of the little details that makes his kit so incredible! A costrel isn't something that would have been made in the field, though (in my mind, at least), so I don't feel comfortable using the same logic.
As an aside, thicker leather might not make a costrel more likely to survive - in fact, the opposite might be more true. Once a costrel got too old and leaky, the thick leather made it a useful source of patches for shoes! Oliver Baker mentions it in "Black Jacks and Leather Bottells".
In the time since I made this costrel, I've gotten a job at a museum with a few pieces of 17th/18th century jackware in the collections, including a costrel. Needless to say, I've spent a fair amount of time staring at it and studying the construction! At some point, I'm going to bother the curator to let me take some measurements so I can make a new one with that information on hand