Sunday, 6 September 2009

Princess of Zweeloo costume

After (hand)sewing the tube for my peplosdress together I found out that it wasn't wide enough to drape well. So I have decided to make a viking undertunic out of that fabric and try to save some money for the right fabric. If I am honest I have to say that I don't really mind that it didn't work out with this wonderfull grey linen. Now I have more time to do research on the costume and the accessories and I can make a more accurate reconstruction. Only downside is that it will take more time and money, but I hope and think that the end result will be worth it. Meanwhile I have ordered a magazine (Kostuum 1996/Costume 1996) with a article written by S.Y. Comis -De Kleding van de prinses van Zweeloo (The costume of the princess of Zweeloo) to start my research off with.

More information:

Prinses van Zweeloo - Encyclopedie Drenthe Online (Dutch)

Drents Museum(Dutch)

Coevorden - De prinses van Zweeloo (Dutch)

Studien zur Sachsenforschung' article Das Grab der "Prinzessin" von Zweeloo und seine Bedeutung im Rahmen des Gräberfeldes' (1977)- W.A. van Es en J. Ypey (German)

The Compleat Anachronist #59, Women's Garb in Nothern Europe, 450-1000 C.E. Frisians, Angles, Franks, Balts, Vikings and Finns pages 19- 22)(English)

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England, Gale Owen-Crocker, page 45-46, fig 31.(English)

Kostuum 1996, yearbook of de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Kostuum, Kant, Mode en Streekdracht, article by Comis.S.Y- De Kleding van de prinses van Zweeloo, p43-p45.(Dutch)

Een nieuwe reconstructie van de kleding van de 'Prinses van Zweeloo' [A new reconstruction of the costume of the 'Princess of Zweeloo'] article - S Y Vons-Comis printed in:
* Van rendierjager tot ontginner, Nieuwe Oudheidkundige Ontdekkingen in Drenthe, 33, [1988?]
* Varia Bio-Archaeologica, 74, 39-75
* Nieuwe Drentse Volksalmanak, 105, 1988, 39(151)-75(187)

In a fresh study of the ornaments and textiles, parallels were sought in Belgium, France, England, Scandinavia and Germany. The dress is now reconstructed as a long tunic with paired shoulder brooches from which a double necklace hangs, over which is a fringed cape fastened on the chest with an equal-armed brooch. Emphasis of the study is on the reconstruction of textile weaves. Date: mid-5th century.
Source: biab online


Marga said...


Did you already read the latest scientific report on the socalled Prinses van Zweeloo (publ. in Paleographica in 2009). With the newest conclusions we have to change our visions about her and about the clothes she was wearing:
* the large beads which are now shown as a belt, are actually used for spinning. They have never been used as a belt. Small rings found between several beads, show us that she wore a leather or woven belt. Those rings were used to hang on all kind of belongings. The large ring could have been used for a bag. In the Saxon world, also bonerings were used for that purpose.
* she wasn't buried with the horses. The horsegraves are from a younger period. They actually disturbed some graves from the older Saxon gravefield.
* the large string of beads where not worn on the fibula's or around the neck, but were placed on the dead body. Not as clothing but for a special gift. Perhaps for the gods? That she was buried with such a great amount of spinning beads - some of the beads not only in the necklace but also for spinning were sometimes ages older than the actual grave - give us more an impression of a woman with a spiritual function within the society. And that the things which were buried with her, were not necessarilly her personal belongings, but had a relation with her function in the society.
* Most probably she wore a peplos with a tunica. The tunica was perhaps woolen. Over de peplos she wore a mantel, which was closed by the butterflylike fibula (some traces of wool on the pin). The mantel could be short, like shown on several mantronastatues, or it could be a long mantel. On the head she could have worn a scarve or a hairnet with braided hair.

If you are interested in the article or the lecture by one of the authors, just mail me.


Marga Zwiggelaar
Die luyden van t Hooge Veene
werkgroep Runa (5th century Drenthe)

Esther said...

Hello Marga,

No I still haven't gotten my hands on a copy, so I haven't read it yet.

I would love a copy of the article and a lecture sounds even better of course. I will try to contact you.

Kind Regards,


Anonymous said...

Could you post the title, author, etc of this article when you receive it? I would love to get more info for my own Zweelo reconstruction.