Archive for November, 2012

November 9, 2012

Here’s Jack in the Box that will Conjure the Fox

Comical satire from 1656 on the new fashions coming into London. Jack on the front page has a short doublet, falling band and a black skull cap. He is also sporting a selection of the latest patches to be worn on the face and he carries a vizard mask in his right hand and a fan, (although it does look very much like a modern cabbage) in his left.

The text lampoons those who are easily parted from their money for a new set of clothes:

If there be any young upstart Gallant, that’s newly dropt out of the Beggers basket; if he have either got Money or Credit, I have a Jack-in-a-box that will fit him with a Beaver hat, a Golden band, a great plumm of Feathers, Dublet and Hose of ye new fashion, with a hundred and fifty knots of Ribons down ye Codpiece; with fancies of severall colours so high as the pocket holes, set all round the Bréeches? he shall also have his choice of Coats suitable to the same, laid downe with Gold lace, Sil|ver lace, or Cooper lace, according as his Money will hold out to pay for? and being thus trim’d up in his Gallantry, he will be taken to be for no less then he is, as he goeth along the streets.
Prouder then a Peacock along he wil pass
Finer then an Ape and wiser then an Asse

The women don’t escape either:

You must for three nights one after another, anoint your eyes with fasting spittle when you goe to Bed, and every morning when you rise you must wash your face in Puppy dog water; and then lay on the painting; & last of all put black Beauty spots upon your fore-heads, your chéeks and your Chin, and afterwards being mounted in a Coach, you will be taken to be as Beautifull as Cleopatria, as light as Diana. and as honest as Venis.

When such light Creatures, are in Coaches carried,

Woe be to them to whomn they must be married.

This rather skinny woman appears on page 4. She has the kind of boned  bodice or underbody that forms the pinched in waist that was becoming the new fashion. Oddly she also holds a cabbage fan and has placed her foot on a barrel in a rather fetching pose. She’s no looker though.

November 9, 2012

The Witch of the Woodlands

..or The Cobbler’s New Translation, a fairy tale of adventures by L.P. published in 1655, starring Robin the Cobbler who, shall we say puts it about a bit in his village and is punished by the local witches, although it does have a happy ending. On the front page we see Robin confronting a witch. He wears a rather battered hat and what looks like a sleeveless doublet over a shirt with a workman’s apron on top. The witch (we know she’s a witch because of her pointy coif and what I assume is a broomstick in her left hand) has petticoat and waistcoat over the top. The group in the background are the girls he left “with child”. More pointy coifs.

In the next chapter, Robin begins to regret his actions upon the girls of the village and cries out:  “I would that my Father had never begot me, then should I never have begotten so many wenches with childe; or else I would that some honest Sow-gelder had done his office upon me”. Hence this rather gruesome image, though rest assured it was all a dream!

November 7, 2012

Denzil Holles

Painted by Edward Bower c1640. Denzil Holles was a prominent parliamentarian and fought during the war. He is mainly remembered as one of the five members that Charles tried to arrest at the House of Commons in 1642. This painting has a kind of gritty realism, the linen shirt and falling band are grubby and the sitter looks dishevelled, almost as if he’s just come from Edgehill. His armour is highly polished though and his doublet sleeved are banded with gold braid.


November 2, 2012

English Gentlewoman

From Wenzel Hollar’s Theatrum Mulierum, published in London in 1643. The lady wears what looks like a short cape and a hood over a petticoat and apron. She has a pair of gloves, possibly linen or leather against the cold and a purse hanging from her belt.

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November 1, 2012

The Good Womans Champion

or A Defence For The Weaker Vessel. Booklet printed in London by Francis Grove in 1650 that picks out passages from the Bible in praise of women. This is followed in the second part by a dialogue between a wife and a bad husband who really isn’t interested and is obviously not listening to his nagging wife! Anyway, the picture on the cover shows two women flanking a guy in the middle. The women are dressed smartly with waistcoat, petticoat, lace edged kerchief and aprons. The woman on the right has a brimmed felt hat and the one on the left some kind of amorphous fabric cap. The man in the middle, a coat over doublet and breeches with spurred long boots.