Posted on

Jane Austen’s Bracelet

Included in the collection at Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton are a few pieces of jewellery owned by the Austen women. These include Jane’s gold and turquoise ring, and the topaz crosses brought back from a voyage by the Austen’s younger brother, Charles. Both of these are available at the Jane Austen Gift Shop as beautiful replica pieces. And now, due to great demand, we have at last added our version of the third piece: Jane’s lovely beaded bracelet.

Jane Austen's Bracelet
Courtesy Jane Austen’s House Museum / Peter Smith
Our lovely new replica

Made exclusively for us in Somerset, each bracelet is intricately hand strung with Miyuki Glass Seed Beads, and completed with a Sterling Silver Gold Plated Box Clasp. It’s a must for fans and collectors alike, as well as a delightful accessory in its own right.

Even Jane approves..!

You can see our lovely new replica bracelet here

Save

Posted on

Make an Heirloom Style Regency Baby Bonnet

Make your own Regency baby bonnet

Heirloom BonnetMake your own Regency Baby Bonnet

These easy instructions will help you create an heirloom style Regency baby bonnet in no time. Read The Regency Layette: The Well-Dressed Infant on the Eve of the 19th Century for a complete look at a Georgian child’s first wardrobe.

This pattern requires a sewing machine and white thread, a 10×10″square of cloth, a yard and a quarter of lace, and about two yards of medium (1/2″) width ribbon.

  1. Cut a 10×10″ square of fabric.
  2. Sew lace all around the edges on the right side of the material. Turn over.
  3. Fold the square in half so that the right side is facing up, Iron or finger press the fold flat.
  4. Sew a line of stitching 1/2″ from the fold all the way across, leaving a casing.
  5. You should have an opening at the bottom of the fold, thread a 12″ piece of ribbon through it.
  6. Cut the remaining ribbon in half. Place one piece between the layers of fabric and lace on the one of the short sides of the fabric. Sew a seam over the entire end to keep the layers together and secure the ribbon in place. Repeat on the other end.
  7. Gather the ribbon on the opposite side, knotting it and then tying it into a bow to make the back of the bonnet.

This pattern for a Regency Baby Bonnet by was adapted from one created by Jo, from Maryland.

You can purchase more children’s patterns at our online giftshop. Click here.

Posted on

Cutting a Quill Pen

“I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend it for you. I mend pens remarkably well.”
Caroline Bingley, Pride and Prejudice

Though made of a humble feather, Quill pens are perhaps the most widely used writing instrument throughout history.
Certainly none of Jane Austen’s novels would be possible without them!

To actually cut a quill pen , a sharp ‘pen-‘knife and much patient practice are needed. Select the feather from one
of the first five flight feathers of any large bird such as a Goose, Swan or even a Peacock. Interestingly enough,
feathers from the left wing fit the right hand best, and vice versa. Soak the feather in hot water until it is soft,
harden it by pushing it into hot sand, then proceed as follows:



1: First shorten the plume (amount of shortening is optional). Then strip away the barb (which would otherwise rest
uncomfortably against the knuckle of the index finger).


2: Cut away the tip of the barrel at a steep angle. Remove the membrane from inside the feather.


3: Make a slit in the top centre of the barrel. The best way to do this is to place the point of the knife inside
the barrel, and lever the knife blade gently upwards, releasing pressure as soon as a crack occurs.


4: Slice a scoop from the underside of the pen, to about half its diameter, and centred on the slit.


5: Shape the nib on one side of the slit.


6: Shape the nib on the opposite side, making sure the two halves match.


7: If the underside of the nib is too concave, scrape it flat with a clean scooping cut, removing as little quill as
possible.


8: To “nib” the pen, rest the underside of the point on a smooth, hard surface. Thin the tip from the top side by
‘scraping’ the blade forward at a shallow angle; then make a vertical cut, either at right angles to the slit or
obliquely. On a very strong feather the last cut can be repeated to remove a very fine sliver, avoiding a rough
underside on the tip of the nib.

Naturally, you will want ink for your pen as well, and Martha Lloyd, Jane Austen’s Sister-in-law has just the
recipe:

Quill Set
Take 4 ozs of blue gauls [gallic acid, made from oak apples], 2 ozs of green copperas [iron sulphate], 1 1/2 ozs of
gum arabic. Break the gauls. The gum and copperas must be beaten in a mortar and put into a pint of strong stale
beer; with a pint of small beer. Put in a little refin’d sugar. It must stand in the chimney corner fourteen days
and be shaken two or three times a day.

Of course, if this sounds like too much work, you can always buy a precut Plume pen and ink from our giftshop

Quill instructions taken from Regia.org.

Posted on

Steep a Perfect Cup of Tea

But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.
-Mansfield Park

A perfect pot of tea does not begin with a mug of hot water and tea bag. The perfect pot takes time and careful planning.

  1. Start with a preheated pot or cup. This prevents the tea cooling too quickly. To warm the it, pour boiling water into the pot, swish it around, and pour it out again.
  2. Use freshly drawn or bottled, not reboiled water.
  3. Bring water to a rolling boil for approximately 10 seconds. Remove kettle from heat. Don’t boil the water for too long as this will boil away the flavour-releasing oxygen.
  4. Wait until the water is just off the boil before pouring it onto the tea. This brings out the rich aroma and avoids scorching the tea.
  5. Use one tea bag per person, or Start with 3/4 of a level teaspoon of loose tea per 6 oz. of water.
  6. Steep for 3-5 minutes, according to taste. If possible, cover the teapot with a towel or tea cosy while steeping to retain heat. Remove the tea bags or leaves
  7. If you would like to add milk (milk, not cream) pour it in the cup or mug before adding the hot tea as this will allow the milk to better blend with the tea without curdling.
  8. Sweeten as preferred or serve with a slice of lemon. Infuse (steep) green tea for two minutes, semi-black tea for seven minutes, unless instructed otherwise based on the tea you have purchased. Both may be infused several times, depending on the tea you have purchased. Though they may be slightly more expensive than black tea by weight measurement, Green and Semi-black are ultimately less costly due to the number of times the leaf may be infused.

Enjoyed this article? Browse our giftshop at janeaustengiftshop.co.uk for Regency recipe books!

Posted on

Country Dances used in the Films

Whether it’s Henry Tilney’s observations about country dances and marriage or a Mr. Darcy or Mr. Elton giving offense at not being willing to dance, Austen’s wittiest or most crushing revelations often come on the dance floor. Because these scenes are so crucial, film makers have endeavored to “get them right”, time and again. But where can you find copies of the music that is so evocative of such a pleasant period or scene? Continue reading Country Dances used in the Films

Posted on

Gingerbread Cakes

Wordsworth

Nothing can be better on a chilly afternoon than warm Gingerbread cakes. In 1803, the poet William Wordsworth, home sick with a cold, certainly thought so. His sister, Dorothy records:

“Wm. had a fancy for some gingerbread; I put on Molly’s cloak and my spencer and walked towards Mathew Newton’s. . . the blind man and his sister were sitting by the fire. All seemed very clean in their Sunday clothes. They took their little stock of gingerbread out of the cupboard, and I bought 6 pennyworth. They were so grateful.”

In England, gingerbread refers not to a cake, but a type of biscuit made with ginger. It commonly takes the form of a gingerbread man. Gingerbread men are first attributed to Queen Elizabeth I, who allegedly served the figurines to foreign dignitaries. Today, however, they are generally served at Christmastime. Continue reading Gingerbread Cakes