Posts tagged ‘belt’

March 27, 2013

Sir John Astley

of Maidstone, Kent. Painted by an unknown artist in the 1630s, Sir John had been Master of the Revels to both King Charles I and his father James and by this time was an old man with grey hair as we can see. He wears a rather splendid white satin doublet that has been slashed or pinked in the body, sleeves and tabs. This was an old fashioned treatment, having been very popular in Tudor times, but I suppose Sir John was an old fashioned type of guy. A white ribbon has been tied where his sword belt should go with a red bow at the centre point. Strangely he is still wearing a sword, though with no visible means of suspension. Maybe it’s just resting against his leg. A very simple plain band and cuffs make up his linen and he has a contrasting pair of red breeches. The picture is under the care of the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland.

Sir John Astley

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

February 27, 2013

Old Tom Parr

Reputedly the oldest man in England when he died in 1635, Tom Parr claimed to have been born in 1483 which made him 152. The cause of death was declared by William Harvey to have been overexposure. The pressures of fame. Tom wears a simply cut, possibly russet doublet with shoulder wings and a small collar band. He’s also knotted something around his waist to act as a belt. There are several versions of this picture. This one hangs in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.


Tom Parr

February 19, 2012

My Bird is A Roundhead

Broadside ballad by Humphrey Crouch from 1643. Being a very Pleasant and true Relation of a man in Northamptonshire , that kept a tame Owle in his house whom he called Round-head and how one of his neighbours had him before a Justice, for calling his Owle Round-head. Simple, clear costume details here, particularly the belt worn over his doublet and the darted band.


January 2, 2012

Dream of Heraclitus

1642 single page broadside from Thomason Tracts. This shows some nice details of common labourer’s clothes, including boots, wide brimmed hats and plain coats. two of the shepherds have waistbelts on top of their coats, supporting their “man bags”

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