Soldier’s Costrel

Barrel-shaped drinking costrels are seen in period art from at least the 14th century through the 18th with little variation to the basic design. Several leather artifacts have survived from these different eras. This replica is based off of those designs and was waterproofed inside and out with a heavy coating of beeswax.

The stopper is a carved branch of birch that is deliberately somewhat rough and crude. It was meant to convey the feel of a bored soldier that may have been whittling to pass the downtime in camp. One side has the likeness of Bacchus wreathed in leaves and grapes, while the opposite face shows a wine goblet. This was loosely based on a number of stone carvings I’ve seen in Italy— I imagined one of Maximilian’s soldiers seeing such carvings on campaign and thinking, “I bet I could do that.”

The costrel looks small but actually holds roughly a liter (just over a quart) of liquid. This should make Bacchus happy.

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