Hester Tradescant and her stepchildren John and Frances

So excited to have been granted permission from the Ashmolean to post some of their portraits. This one is lovely, painted around 1644 by an unnamed English artist. Hester was the wife of John the Younger Tradescant and the original keeper of what became the Ashmolean Museum. Hester sadly died by drowning in her own pond in 1678 at which point Elias Ashmole inherited the collection. John is wearing a dark grey doublet with smallish tabs at the waist and some nice, though not exceptional linen around his neck. It looks like the lace was tacked on as an afterthought, rather than having been bought for the purpose. Frances seems to be wearing a low-ish cut bodice with lace around the collar of her smock. Hester is wearing a matching bodice and petticoat which could be in brown velvet, edged with what looks like lace made from gilt thread. Her two-layer kerchief is lined with lace as is the coif she’s wearing under her wide brimmed hat. I like the magnifying glass hanging from the left hand point of her kerchief. It’s heavy enough to drag that side of the kerchief lower than the right. They do look very serious though I have to say. Picture is © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

Hester Tradescant and children

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One Comment to “Hester Tradescant and her stepchildren John and Frances”

  1. Loving today’s pictures, looking at women’s clothing to make my wife some stuff, finding these pictures really helpful

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