Let’s face it, it’s just plain difficult to find the perfect gift sometimes! You want it to be unique, a great match for the recipient, a sign of your affection and esteem, and maybe even have a little medieval flair. We’ve scoured the world of Etsy for the weird, wonderful, and medieval products available there, and here’s our top 15 picks! Above: 5 inch knit plush Plague Doctor from Kutuleras
Get Dressed Up!
You can never go wrong with a good brooch whether you’re buying as a gift or for yourself. Men can wear it with their re-enactment kit or on their daily backpack/messenger bag/murse, and women can wear it as a piece of jewelry on a blouse, jacket, or wrap. Both genders regularly wore brooches in the Middle Ages and there are a wide variety of sizes, styles, and materials in surviving examples. Which one is your favorite? Annular? Penannulars? Fibulas? We like this handmade tri-lobe brooch from Germany with Scandinavian motifs from Belanas Schatzkiste:
While Etsy is awash in all kinds of brightly colored corseted gowns and tunics, you can find some authentic items reproduced by knowledgeable craftsmen. These cozy hats, mittens, and socks from Nidavellnir are nalbinded (a medieval form of crochet). This cheerful hat is sure to add some color to a dreary wet winter day!
A long leather belt can be layered with medieval or modern clothing, and high-quality handcrafting speaks for itself! Show off your penchant for the medieval with a comfortable and adjustable belt like these from My Funky Camelot:
There’s always a Plague Doctor death mask if you’d prefer the wear the leather on your face rather than around your waist. ZiLeathercraft will be happy to hook you up for the moderate price of $125.00, or you can buy a keychain version for $35.00.
Medieval Art & Artifacts
Are you a fan of medieval art and illuminations? It’s easy to copy and paste images but beware of craftsmen and artists who may be illegally reproducing images of privately owned or museum owned artifacts. The images online are likely copyrighted photographs owned by the object owner, photographer, or both. Instead look for illuminated letters inspired by medieval manuscripts-we like these by Nancy Hulan who operates the Arte Of The Booke shop.
You can also print your own manuscript pages with these DIY downloads from Memories Emporium. They’re perfect for your holiday thank-you notes, wedding invitations, or a sweet note to a friend! If you are amused by mixing medieval imagery, memes, and the occasional bad word, then these cross-stitch patterns from Crickett’s House will be right up your alley. Here’s a PG-rated option:
House & Home
We’re drooling over some of the hand-forged holders for rush lights and candles from South Saxon Forge! If you like your electricity then take a look at the medieval-inspired door latches, handles, hooks, and trivets. Isn’t this fire poker topped with a baby gargoyle calling your name?
Don’t forget to have some fun during the holiday season and beyond! Etsy is well-stocked with medieval-inspired games and amusements, including bone dice, Fox and Geese, Brandubh, Asalto, and other games!
Danielle Trynoski is the West Coast correspondent for Medievalists.net and is the co-editor of The Medieval Magazine.