article of clothing at Mistress Belphoebe's site.
From there I dug a little and found three portraits in the Realm of Venus' selection of portraits. Two are by Licino and the third by Catena, all of them in the 1520-30's.
Katherine's mantellina and her discussion of the mentions of them in Moda a Firenze Kat lists wool,taffeta,satin,and velvet with ermine lining. Red is the most popular color listed. Embroidery of gold and decorative frogs are also mentioned. As I don't have a copy of Moda (yet) I haven't done my own reading. I'm really grateful for her summary of options other than the dark and plain ones in the portraits. Not that dark fur isn't beautiful on its own, but I like playing with embellishment.
It's gone through a few design changes. There was the moment of peach flowers. Then I moved on to trying some cutwork to expose one of my favorite flaming orange silks. I designed something that I hope looks like my Krin/fleur on a heart, but isn't so detailed that it is out of style with cutwork designs.
I'm mostly happy with how it ended up, but it was another of my harebrained decisions. In adding the pearls, I could not use a glover's needle that would have made it easier to put the tacks through the velvet and silk in to the leather of the shearling. I needed a small pair of needle nose pliers to pull the embroidery needle through the leather after awhile as my fingers got cramped and full of holes. I ended up bending about 7 needles in the process of putting the 351 pearls in place. It's not that many pearls, but it certainly seemed like more.
Originally, I had a collar on this, but the curve of the mantle was sitting too far up on my neck once I finished it. I took it off and re-cut the back neckline. I was going to add the collar back on, but decided to keep it closer to the portrait shapes. The largest reason for this is the general lack of collars in the 1530's dresses/partlets/etc. After spending some significant time looking at partlet styles over the last couple of days, a collarless mantle seemed more correct. It is also more in keeping with Katherine's mention of the wearing of mantellinas under other coats for additional warmth. With the oversized baragoni of the dress, trying to stuff more under the zimmara didn't seem like much fun or at all comfortable.
I'd toyed with some gold frogs or edging the mantel in a gold lace, or maybe putting a flat gold braid on the inside of the cutwork, outlining a border. I'm afraid it would further downplay the cutwork and the contrast from the orange. I'm open to suggestions, however, and to be contradicted since I want this to pop and look as finished as it can, especially after all the time spent on it so far. In the meantime, I added a subtle antiqued bronze clasp I've had in stash for a couple of years. It has vaguely heart shapes in the filigree and the color blends nicely in to the velvet. I'm declaring victory and moving on.