Yeah, Iâ€™ll reiterate again that I strongly believe Tolkien had something like a chain of office or livery collar in mind when he wrote that line - mostly because that sort of thing would be relatively familiar to an Englishman of Tolkienâ€™s era and status - hell, they still use them to this day in certain ceremonial instances. And yet, even at the time they would have been considered terribly old fashioned, so I fancy itâ€™s something the Professor likely would have thought quintessentially â€œmedievalâ€ in character.
We do know that Gondor had certain Byzantine/Egyptian/Mediterranean undertones, but also that Tolkien himself had a sort of generic-Western-European-Medieval-ish idea of the overall dress and style of Middle-earth, so I feel a sort of blending of those aesthetics would probably yield something consistent with his universe.
I also agree with what Elleth points out here:
Elleth wrote:... though the diff between that and the Egyptian model isn't all that large it seems to me: more a question of materials and motif than function?
On some level they really are similar. I would almost say to mix elements of the two, and then maybe make it just a little smaller and less ostentatious, and youâ€™d probably end up with something that felt very in keeping with the Gondor we imagine.
As an aside, I have to say that I had honestly not even thought of this, and youâ€™re absolutely right!
Cimrandir wrote:My question is would it be that ostentatious though? Boromir always struck me a mostly practical sort and while vain, a seasoned traveler and warrior. He was traveling to Rivendell as an emissary of the Steward and mostly likely need a symbol of his status at the Council but it seems to me it might be something a little smaller for traveling and not quite so impractical as a loose chain/collar. Though my interpretation may be biased by the films I'll admit.
As an aside, something that just occurred to me - did Boromir have a retinue for his journey to the Council? I don't have my copy of Fellowship handy but it seems to me a little fool-hardy to send the eldest son and heir of the Steward of Gondor by himself. Perhaps he felt a little more secure taking larger jewelry if he had a small company with him.
It boggles my mind to think that such an important person as Boromir would have made such a long and perilous journey entirely unescorted. I do know that medieval documents were often notorious for never mentioning the retinues of various knights and lords and important persons until it was absolutely unavoidable (from whence I believe we get the humorous moment in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when suddenly an enormous army simply appears out of thin air at the backs of Arthur and his knights at the end), but it really does seem like there would have been SOME mention of other Gondorians in or around Rivendell at that time, even if Boromir left them behind when joining the Fellowship. How weird.
Anyway, as for the collar, I do feel like itâ€™s something he would have stowed away until such a time as he was to appear at a council, when he would have donned it as a mark of his status among the other delegates there assembled.