Archive for March 5th, 2013

March 5, 2013

Three Prodigies

…of the present age. Broadside published in 1636 by Michael Sparke, engraving by George Glover. Two of the three we’ve met before. Jeffery Hudson the Queen’s Dwarf and Old Tom Parr the oldest man in the country. The figure on the left is William Evans, porter to King James and Charles. He is the tallest Welshman on record, being two and a half yards high. A favourite party trick was to produce Mr Hudson from his coat pocket to the amusement of all concerned. How they must have laughed!

three prodigies of the present age, george glover

William wears a normal set of clothes for the time, but outsized! I liked this detail of his doublet. Notice how the belt that closes across his belly ends in a set of ribbon points making the closure line up to the down pointed waist line that was the fashion.

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Here’s Jeffery in what I think is a suit made of motley (speckled) wool. A typical garb for the royal fool. Looks like his band is motley too. Those heels would have been essential to gain a few extra inches.

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And good old Tom is asleep. I don’t blame him, he would have been 152 by the time the picture was engraved. I see he has two doublets, possibly to keep him warm in the days before cold winter payments and what looks like a 12 paned day cap.

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All pictures © Trustees of the British Museum

March 5, 2013


from the Seven Liberal Arts, etching by George Glover, c 1630. The lady wears a large wide brimmed hat, a waistcoat and overskirt that seem to be figured (or possibly embroidered) all over with a flower motif and a pale under petticoat. The smock which appears through the slashes in her sleeves is edged along the neckline with needlelace. The same lace is also used on her doubled sleeve cuffs and the edge of the over petticoat skirts. I also like the astonished face carved on the chair back. © Trustees of the British Museum

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