Posts tagged ‘buttons’

February 27, 2013

The Olde, Old, Very Olde Man

or The Age and long Life of Thomas Par. John Taylor 1635. Note the variety of spelling in the title. Taylor was never slow to jump on the bandwagon. There was quite a rumpus when the old boy was brought to London by stages from his home in Gloucestershire. Tom claimed to be 152, having been born (so he said) in 1483. The book details the journey that William Harvey thought had killed Tom and ends with a poem about his life. Tom wears probably the same doublet he was painted in, but also wears a lined day cap and small collar band.

Here’s a flavour of John Taylor’s poetry

AN Old man’s twice a child (the proverb saies)
And many old men nere saw halfe his daies
Of whom I write; for he at first had life,
When Yorke and Lancasters Domestique strife
In her owne bloud had factious England drench’d,
Vntill sweet Peace those civil flames had quench’d.
When as fourth Edwards Raigne to end drew nigh,
Iohn Parr (a man that liv’d by Husbandry)
Begot this Thomas Parr, and borne was Hee
The yeare of fourteen hundred, eighty three.

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February 13, 2013

Edward Calver

Etched by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1644, Calver was a poet, but not a very good one. In fact his entry in the Dictionary of National Biography says his was “a meagre talent dedicated towards unremarkable moral themes”. Oh dear. Not much is known about him either, apart from his poetry and the fact that he came from Suffolk. Anyway here is Edward, presumably stuck for a rhyme dressed in a smart doublet with narrow shoulder wings and a darted linen falling band. Nice clear view of his doublet buttons too.

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February 11, 2013

Robert Davies of Gwysaney

Painted again by Thomas Leigh in 1643. Robert was High Sherriff of Flintshire and fought for the King during the war, though he was imprisoned by Parliament forces in 1645. He is dressed in a gold silk doublet which has been pinked, or slashed across the body, sleeves and shoulder wings. I’ve not seen a lot of this kind of decoration from the 1640s, it was more a Tudor decoration, though in Wales, it may have not been quite as old fashioned as it would have been in London. His buttons are a nice detail too, seemingly wrapped with the same thread that makes up the doublet and he has a smart, though understated falling band. He does need to do something with his hair though! The portrait can be found in the National Museum in Cardiff.


Robert Davies of Gwysaney

January 9, 2013

Nicholas Lanier

Nicholas Lanier was an musician and art dealer who dabbled in many things. Apart from anything else, he was a talented artist as this self-portrait shows, painted around 1644 whilst at court with the King in Oxford. He is simply dressed with a narrow brimmed hat and ribbon hat band of a colour that matches his doublet. The doublet appears to be of a green russet (russet was a type of woollen cloth) and simply cut with cloth or thread wrapped buttons. It’s tricky to tell which kind they are, but if you look closely you can see the knots that hold the buttons together and provide an anchor to the doublet. A neat falling band completes the wardrobe as it were. It’s very much a common man’s suit of clothes, perhaps Lanier is slumming it, or maybe he was down on his luck. He has painted a skull by his left elbow as a memento mori, which may indicate that he was struggling financially. He left England shortly after this, in Spring 1645 and didn’t return for several years. The music is one of his own compositions in case you were wondering. The picture hangs in the faculty of Music in Oxford.

nicholas Lanier

October 21, 2012

Portrait of a Lady and Her Son

By Edward Bower the parliamentarian artist famed for his portrait of Charles I during the King’s trial in 1648. I can find nothing out about this picture except that it came up for auction a few years ago and was bought by a private collector. This rather serious pair are dressed in their finery for the picture. The boy wears a smart brown doublet and breeches with open sleeves with matching thread-wrapped bead buttons four of which have been left rakishly unfastened for his shirt to poke out. He has matching band and cuffs with a rather nice knotted tasselled end to his bandstrings. The lady wears a rather sombre black petticoat and bodice, picked out with red ribbons and a couple of expensive looking pearl strings. The layers of cutwork lace on her cuffs and neckerchief are particularly splendid.

March 13, 2012

Boy and Hemet

Painted by an unknown artist, this painting is in the Ipswich and Colchester museums collection. Unusual cutwork, rather than lace collar, and braided doublet.

March 7, 2012

John Holles, 1st Earl Clare

The politician and landowner in a rather splendid dutch coat. Holles was the father of Denzil Holles who played a prominent part in the war



February 3, 2012

The Scots

Holding Their Yovng Kinge’s Nose to Ye Grinstone (sic). Pamphlet/broadsheet from 1651. It’s a familiar image, but there are some interesting details if you zoom in.

Jockie’s hat and coat cuffs for instance. Bonnet or wide brim?

His shoes and hose. Looks like they are sewn rather than knitted from the back seam and side gussets. He has unconfined breeches too.

The buttons on the back of his coat. Round and shanked.

And last but not least, Charles’s soft boots, boothose and breeches. Spot the ribbon decoration on the lower edge.

January 1, 2012

Sir Hardolph Wasteneys

The 2nd Baronet Sir Hardolph Wasteneys (1612-1673) painted in 1638. He looks rather smug, but wouldn’t you with all those nice accessories? Check out the lace on his band, the detailing on his baldrick and the buttons on his doublet and breeches.