Posts tagged ‘bodice’

February 28, 2017

Anthropometamorphosis Appendix 1

Exhibiting the Pedigree of the English Gallant.

Continuing my discussion of John Bulwer’s book from 1653, I’ve skipped to the back and the appendix where as he says in the text:

“Upon the Relation of this intended Practicall Metamorphosis, I perceived that all men thought me to be necessarily ingaged to touch upon the transformation and deformity of Apparell; the thing offering it selfe so naturally, every Scene almost affording some emergent occasion or other for such a Discourse. Which conceit, I confesse, I had admitted, but that I desired to keep close to my proper Argument. A little therefore to answer expectation, I thought good to annex this Appendix, wherein I shall a little explaine this Proverbe, God makes, and the Tailor shapes.”

It’s strong stuff, but his theory seems to be that whatever strange fashion had been thought up in England, there was a foreign country where it had already been thought of. For instance painting your face, using beauty patches and wearing large earrings.

His captions, not mine by the way, They’re not terribly PC, but then neither is most of this book. The chap with the earrings has also waxed his moustache I suspect and is wearing a smart linen band over his doublet.

He compares slashed doublets (nice 1630s style one in the woodcut) to tribesmen in Africa who use body scars as a tribal marking, and goes on to discuss the mid seventeenth century lowering of the waist line

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“When we wore short-wasted Doublets, and but a little lower than our Breasts, we would maintaine by militant reasons that the waste was in its right place as Nature intended it: but when after (as lately) we came to weare them so long wasted, yea, almost so low as our Privities, then began we to condemn the former fashion as fond, intollerable, and deformed, and to commend the later as comely, handsome, and commendable.”

This all sounds very familiar, fashion seemed to change as much then as it does now.

Then he moves on the the ladies. He’s no less scathing, and yes those are boobies (low cut bodice, nicely dressed hair):

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“That upstart impudence and innovation of naked breasts, and cutting or hallowing downe the neck of womens garments below their shoulders, an exorbitant and shamefull enormity and habit, much worne by our semi-Adamits, is another meere peece of refined Barbarisme, as if it were done in designe, as one saith, whose thoughts were neare upon contemporary with my conceit, to facilitate an accommodation with those American Ladies in the Court of King Atabiliba,or Pocahuncas “

My favourite part still is the shoes, but I will leave that for another post.

 

 

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October 26, 2014

Elizabeth Holte

Painted in 1635, I guess as a companion piece to the portrait of her husband Edward, and also by Cornelis Janssens van  Ceulen. Elizabeth is pictured in a sober black satin bodice with just a tiny strip of her white smock peeping out above the neckline and a black lace scarf or sash draped across her right shoulder. Her hair is dressed but uncovered and she is staring straight out of the picture with the same gaze as her husband. Picture is in the collection of the Birmingham Museums Trust

Elizabeth Holte (c.1605–after 1670)

January 6, 2014

Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart

with her first Husband Sir Lionel Tollemache and her sister, Margaret Murray, Lady Maynard, painted by Joan Carlile in 1648. Elizabeth was a royalist sympathiser and a prominent member of the Sealed Knot during the Commonwealth but also numbered amongst her regular house guests the Protector Oliver Cromwell. Suffice to say, Elizabeth was a formidable woman, Countess Dysart in her own right and a regular traveller to the continent to visit exiled royalists, including Charles II.

Elizabeth and her sister are wearing the wide sleeved, low cut bodices with attached petticoat skirts that were popular in the late 1640s whilst Sir Lionel (who is characteristically in the background) is dressed in a long coat with a pair of long boots over matching black hose.

The picture hangs in the National Trust property Ham House, in Richmond-upon-Thames

Elizabeth Murray (1626–1698), Countess of Dysart, with Her First Husband, Sir Lionel Tollemache

November 28, 2013

England’s Grievance Discovered Part Five: Scold’s Bridle

Ralph Gardiner 1655. This one is quite familiar, I’ve see it in several publications before, but nonetheless the costume details are excellent and in many ways akin to the Cryes of London. Here’s the text:

“Iohn Wilis of Ipswich upon his Oath said, that he this Deponent was in Newcastle six months ago, and there he saw one Ann Biulestone drove through the streets by an Officer of the same Corporation, holding a rope in his hand, the other end fastned to an Engine called the Branks, which is like a Crown, it being of Iron, which was musled over the head and face, with a great gap or tongue of Iron forced into her mouth, which forced the blood out. And that is the punishment which the Magistrates do inflict upon chiding, and scoulding women, and that he hath often seen the like done to others.”

So here is Ann with the Officer of the Corporation. The officer has a hat, coat breeches and shoes whilst the poor woman strapped into the branks is wearing a bodice and petticoat with an apron and kerchief tucked in, and just a glimpse of shoes at the bottom.

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November 28, 2013

England’s Grievance Discovered

…in relation to the coal-trade with the map of the river of Tine, and situation of the town and corporation of Newcastle : the tyrannical oppression of those magistrates, their charters and grants, the several tryals, depositions, and judgements obtained against them : with a breviate of several statutes proving repugnant to their actings : with proposals for reducing the excessive rates of coals for the future, and the rise of their grants, appearing in this book by Ralph Gardiner.

This book was published in 1655. Basically the book came about as a result of an argument over monopolies granted by the King in respect of business along the river Tyne. Gardiner had prepared a case whilst he was imprisoned for supplying beer against the monopoly but due to the dissolution of the Rump Parliament he could not present it to Parliament so instead published this long-winded and rather worthy book.

However, to our good fortune there are several rather nice images peppered throughout the pages. This first one illustrates an affray that resulted from a ship’s master obtaining local labour to repair his ship which had run aground near Tynemouth, It seems to have been a rather complicated affair, but it seems that by using cheap carpenters rather than the agreed monopoly holders he was in contravention of the agreement. and hence the mayor sent the proper contractors and the two sergeants to sort it out.

Anyway, the women caught up in the violence are wearing petticoats, bodices aprons and coifs as befits the middling classes and the ruffians with the cudgels are dressed in coats, breeches, hats and shoes.

 

 

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November 27, 2013

Catherine Lucas, Lady Pye

Painted by Henry Giles in 1639, Catherine was the sister of Margaret Cavendish Duchess of Newcastle and spent at least some part of the Civil War in Oxford.  She certainly looks pretty well to do in this painting which is in the National Trust’s care in Bradenham Manor.

She is dressed in her finest black petticoat and bodice over what looks like a brocaded underskirt. Her linen kerchief is layered and like her cuffs is made from very fine see through linen, through which you can see the details of her smock. She is also wearing an outrageously wide brimmed hat over a lace edged coif. Only subtle adornments, a black ribbon holding her kerchief down and an understated coral bracelet on each wrist.

Catherine Lucas

November 13, 2013

Queen Henrietta Maria and Jeffrey Hudson

I’m going to annoy the professional historians for a while with some more pretty pictures, starting with this portrait hanging in the  National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  It was painted by Anthony van Dyck in 1633, and is more naturalistic somehow than most of the other portraits of the French Queen of England, showing her supposedly dressed ready to go hunting, though I’m not sure how practical a taffeta petticoat would be on horseback. Henrietta was twenty four years old when van Dyck made this picture and Sir Jeffery, the court dwarf and great friend of the Queen only fourteen.

Henrietta is wearing a blue taffeta tabbed bodice and matching petticoat with a laced neckerchief and falling band confection around her throat. She has a wide brimmed hat ready to go abroad on the hunt and her linen is picked out with contrasting pink ribbon. Sir Jeffery wears a red velvet doublet and breeches, lace edged falling band and soft leather gloves and riding boots.

 

Henrietta Maria and Jeffrey

 

 

If you look closely at the fabric of her bodice you can see lots of tiny holes punched in the silk, the decorative process known as pinking. It is also continued across the petticoat skirts. Notice also the complicated gathers of her laced cuffs.

 

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And in the modern vernacular, to be fair, a close up of Mr Hudson and his monkey.

 

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October 31, 2013

A Pleasant Comedy

Called a Mayden-head Well Lost. As it hath beene publickly acted at the Cocke-pit in Drury-land with much Applause by her Majesties Servants. Written by Thomas Heywood. First published in 1634 this was a popular play that was reprinted several times. The plot was typically labyrinthine and involved Julia the daughter of the Duke of Milan who discovers she is pregnant just before she is supposed to be marrying the Prince of Parma.

The introductory ‘Letter to the Reader’ is interesting as in sounds a note of caution to indicate that innocent entertainment like this might become a bone of contention: ‘this can be drawn within the critical censure of that most horrible Histriomatix, whose uncharitable doome having damned all such to the flames of Hell, hath itself already suffered a most remarkeable fire here upon earth’. Histriomatix was written by the puritan William Prynne and was a scathing attack on the Rennaissance theatre and festivals such as Christmas. It was a foretaste of the religious turmoil that was just around the corner.

The image is an engraving from the front page and shows a scene from the play. Most of the men are dressed in doublet, hat and falling band, but note the clown on the right of the table in a long checkered petticoat and striped hat. This was the uniform of the fool; Tom Skelton of Muncaster Castle, the original Tom Fool was roughly contemporary and was painted in a similar garb. Julia is pictured in a petticoat, bodice and a decorated collar.

 

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October 12, 2013

The Foure Complexions: Phlegmatic

And the last print from William Marshall in 1637. I like this picture, there is more humour in it. Phlegmatic shows a rather vain lady staring out at us from the edge of a river in which a rather odd fish with a human face is watching her. The verse reads:

“In Beauty have I share of Rose and Lilly, But I lack Breeding and my wit is Silly”

She is wearing a tightly laced boned bodice with slashed balloon sleeves, a petticoat and a still lace edged collar. On top of the ensemble she has a gown with open sleeves that fasten around her elbows and reaches down to cover her petticoat skirts. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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I also like the vacant look on her face and the flowers she has in her hair.

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October 11, 2013

The Foure Complexions: Cholerick

Continuing the series of prints executed by William Marshall in 1637-7, we now have Cholerick, a lady facing away from the artist, helpfully displaying to us the back of her clothes.

The verse gives away the choleric nature:

“Nature because Shee would not doe Mee wrong, Instead of Stature hath awarded Tongue”

She is wearing a tight waisted bodice with wide, though short sleeves and two petticoats, which we can see as she has helpfully hitched her over petticoat skirts so we can see the under petticoat. The detail is not good on this image, but it seems to me that the bodice and over petticoat have been slashed or pinked all over as a decoration. Follow this link to a pink silk bodice in the Victoria and Albert Museum that has a very similar pattern and form of decoration to this one. From the back you can also see the darts on her linen collar.

Chollerick