One of my friends contacted me the other day. We usually chat on the msn or on the phone, and give each other advice on stuff medieval. He is a goldsmith by trade (he made my wedding ring, among other things), and he knows a lot about crafting, so I sometimes ask him when I need to know. As I stated – I am not a craftsman. I am a reading man. And that is why my friend contacted me. I can’t help out much, but what I can do is get 14th century manuscript pictures of most stuff imaginable. So he told me:
”I’ve got a challenge for you! I bet you can’t come up with a picture of an oud.”
”Yeah. It’s like a lute used in islamic cultures. They used it in southern Europe as well during the 14th century.”
I smiled. I smiled because I recently saw a picture of the instrument he was after in a French manuscript. So I promptly sent it to him by mail. Just to show him.
”Check your inbox.” I told him. His msn was still. No messages in sight. He paused. I waited. Finally:
”OK. Thanks. Splendid work! Talk to you later!”
And that was that. I felt good. Challenge-Schmallenge!
Some day later he phoned me, and said:
”Hey. You know you always get me sources on everything?”
”Well, me and Stefan really appreciate it, and we would like to do something for you in return.”
”No need, but thanks.” He ignored me.
”I heard someone lost his needle case last summer.” I frowned.
”It was actually my wife…”
”Blame whoever you wish. Still it’s gone, right?”
”We’ll make you one. Get me a source on a nice one, and you’ll have it in your hand before spring.”
I was deeply touched. I really was. And then I started to look for sources. And you know what? Despite of all my bragging, I still haven’t found a good source…
If you have a good source on an extant needle case in metal, preferrably from Scandinavia or northern Germany – please tell me!