One of the first things I do every morning, while waiting for kids to get ready for their day, is to spend a few minutes browsing online museums. The V&A and the Met are tops on the list. I'm somewhere in the middle of the 7,000 plus items at the Met that come up when you put Italy into 1400-1600. This morning I found a really beautiful round bottomed leather case. It's description was "case for a coconut cup." I sort of assumed that was a name for the shape or something. Nope. Its a real cup, made from a coconut. not alone. There are English ones, Low Country ones, and even one from Hungary. According to the little blurb on the Timeline entry, its sort of like having a magical unicorn horn cup. They were thought to protect from poison and have miraculous powers. Getting a hold of a coconut is a so much easier than finding your own unicorn horn though.
I was also thinking it would be much easier to camp with than my pretty glassware. As well as looking less obtrusive for midnight reveling than a 16th century Italian lady walking around with a Viking horn full of mead. Yes, I understand that they would have been a big deal in period and not something you wandered around with, but I'm having too much fun with the idea to leave it alone. I'm not against buying a coconut and hollowing it out. Seems easy enough, and I'm a coconut fan. (Mmmmmm macaroons are my favorite.) However, I found these coconut cups already hollowed out for $25 for a dozen. Rip the stupid flower off and gild it or make a collar from some of the embossing metal from the craft store, and I think I could have a reasonable 16th century Italian coconut cup on my hands in a short afternoon.
Yes, there is the bit of me giggling like a madwoman in the back of my head as a contemplate mini silk parasols with fringe put into my gilded coconut cup. That's the same fool who is laughing herself hysterical with thoughts of swallows, and Graham Chapman "galloping" along. I'm so thoroughly amused that coconut halves are period. Even if they don't make galloping noises.