Archive for March 21st, 2013

March 21, 2013

The Kitchenmaid

From an earlier set of engravings by Hollar, Ornatus Muliebris, published in a book in 1640. These were exclusively English women, mostly pretty high class, but this one is supposed to be a servant of the kitchen, although she must be in her Sunday best as there is a lot of decorative edging here. She has a lace edged coif on her head, plain linen neckerchief and a waistcoat with gathered sleeves that have some decoration, possibly applied embroidery or simple lace.  She has two petticoat skirts, the outer one is also decorated along the lower edge. Her shoes are heeled and fashionable and are raised up on pattens to keep her out of the mud. In her basket are artichokes and some kind of root vegetable, possibly purple carrots or radishes.

Is this a servant or someone of higher status pretending to be a kitchenmaid. Who knows?