This is a reproduction of the necklace shown in Portrait of a Young Girl by Petrus Christus. I don't normally do reproductions, preferring instead to blend elements from a variety of sources into something uniquely my own. But the first time I saw the necklace in this portrait I fell in love and just had to have it.
In the context of the SCA I usually dress in 15th century attire. But when a friend became Princess and announced that she would be having a Viking reign, I decided to make several outfits along that theme. Making the clothing was easy, as Viking dresses are very simple to construct. But a Viking woman isn't properly dressed without her jewelry, and most especially her necklaces.
Viking women did sometimes wear circular necklaces, worn around the neck. But much more typical of the Viking style was the type of necklace shown here, formed of strands of beads suspended from the dress brooches. Each necklace has loops at either end of the strand which are threaded over the pin of the brooches, as shown in the image at the lower left. Also typical of Viking style, these necklaces often contained small pendants or plaques mixed in with the beads.
Historically, a Viking woman would have always worn all of her necklaces, as they were a sign of her wealth. But being the silly person that I am, I wanted to have necklaces of different colors that I could wear with different colored outfits. To accomplish this goal, I made five necklaces. The first was a necklace of red, my personal color in the SCA, which would always be worn. The middle necklace, which would also always be worn, was made from an assortment of black and white beads. I then made interchangeable long necklaces in purple, blue, and green.