The English Improver Improved Part 2

Further into the 1652 book on agriculture and husbandry there are two more interesting illustrations. On page 65 we see the author Walter Blith with his surveying instruments and further on a labourer demonstrating a spade amongst pictures of other tools.

Walter is dressed in a quality doublet with slashed sleeves, beribboned unconfined breeches and some splendid soft riding boots. The sleeves of his shirt appear to be gathered into a small cuff but pulled through the ends of his shortened doublet sleeves to emphasise the amount of linen used. He’s also wearing a jauntily cocked hat and some kind of wrap around his stomach that is possibly artistic licence as it looks more classical than Early Modern. I’m not sure how you’d stop something like that from falling down. He’s not dressed for surveying I suspect. This is the supervisor at work.

 

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 22.23.33

 

 

And on page 69 an echo of the labourer on the frontispiece using what we are now told is a trenching spade. Sadly he’s ditched (no pun intended) his intriguing hat and unbuttoned his coat but we can now see better details of the breeches that are gathered at the knee and count the number of buttonholes on a working man’s doublet. Notice for a working man in the dirt he’s actually wearing shoes, not boots. His left hose seems to have a clock, (or gusset) in the front of the foot. They are usually found on the side. Interesting.

 

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2 Comments to “The English Improver Improved Part 2”

  1. The apparent clock at the front of the hose instead of the side could be a simple mistake by the engraver.

  2. That looks like a cloak wrapped around his waist, something you see in Dutch art

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