Posts tagged ‘coif’

October 23, 2013

Rats, Milk and Collyflowers

From an etching dated 1655, part of the Cryes of London series by Robert Pricke. The rat catcher displays his prowess on a board and is dressed smartly in doublet, breeches and shoes with a wide brimmed hat and sober falling band.

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The milk seller has perched a bucket of milk on her head. She’s dressed in a waistcoat and petticoat over which she has sensibly added an apron and neckerchief. She is also wearing a hat and coif combo on her head, presumably to help her cope with the weight of the milk.

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This lady is selling nice ripe colly-flowers. They don’t look quite like our cultivated ones, though they’re not that far off. I wonder if they were as white as modern cultivars? She is dressed identically to the milk seller. Compare her shoes with the rat catcher. They are the same style.

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September 25, 2013

Unidentified Family Portrait

Traditionally thought to be that of Sir Thomas Browne by William Dobson. If you look at the picture of Thomas and his wife Dorothy painted by John Souch, there is a resemblance, so there is some reason to think this is John and his family, but no conclusive proof. He could have been in Oxford at the same time as Dobson, though as he was native to Norwich, would he have transported a young family across war torn England to Oxford to have a portrait painted?

Anyway, this is a lovely family group and their clothes put them firmly in the 1640s. They all look unerringly at the viewer, daring us to stare back.  John (or whoever) is wearing a brown, (or what most people would have thought of as black) coat with a plain falling band and a simple black day cap. His wife is wearing a smart wide brimmed hat and what looks like a cream bodice under a dark mantle or wrap. The children are all in petticoats, though I suspect that the two on the right hand side are boys wearing red petticoats with linen aprons, bands and matching caps. The boy on the left has a small sword suspended from a blue ribbon, whilst the lad on the right is more interested in his pet rabbit. The two girls on the right, (they look old enough to have been breeched were they boys) are wearing russet coloured waistcoats with plain linen kerchiefs and black hoods over their coifs possibly indicating that they have lost siblings.  John Browne lost several children at an early age (five out of eleven) so that fits with the Thomas Browne theory, though losing small children was by no means unusual.

Thanks to Chatsworth for permission to post this image. The painting is © Devonshire Collection Chatsworth and reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.

 

Sir Thomas Browne? Dobson

September 20, 2013

Portrait of the Artist’s Wife

By William Dobson, thought to be his second wife Judith. She is quite informally dressed (notice the curls escaping from her coif) in a cream satin coif and matching low-cut waistcoat with glimpses of her smock and some kind of diaphanous black wrap around her head and shoulders.  The picture is owned by the Tate Gallery but at present is not on display.

Portrait of the Artist's Wife

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August 13, 2013

Agnes Impel

Agnes was the wife of Sir Jacob Astley the royalist commander. They had met whilst he was on the continent serving as part of the Anglo-Dutch brigade around 1619 and stayed together until Jacob died in 1652. Interestingly the BBC paintings website gives the date of her death as 1647, whilst Sir Jacob’s biography states that she outlived him. Note the anglicised spelling of her maiden name on the portrait.

The picture shows Agnes in her mourning clothes, a black coif on her head, black waistcoat,  petticoat and various black accessories; earrings, bracelet and black ribbons on her kerchief. The starkness of the black really brings out the white of her lace edged cuffs and many-layered neck linen, also showing every crease and dart in the construction.. The original hangs in the National Trust property Seaton Delaval in Northumberland.

Agnes Impel (d.1647), Lady Astley, in Mourning Dress

August 8, 2013

Boy With Coral

Painted by an unknown artist sometime between 1650 and 1660, this is a full length portrait of a small boy strapped into a wheeled baby walker. The coral of the title refers to the teether he is holding the end of which is made from pink coral. His necklace is also made from coral. Many thanks to Brenda Price and Greg Marshall for the explanation.

He’s wearing the full length petticoat of a boy who is not yet old enough to wear breeches with the hanging sleeves down his back that act as leading reins on the small toddler. He also has a white triangular linen bib or apron over a full length smock and a linen edged coif on his head. The picture is in the Norwich Castle Museum collection.

Boy with coral by unknown artist

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June 10, 2013

Portrait of a Couple

Said to be John Tradescant the elder and his wife Elizabeth painted sometime in the 1640s, although the identification of both sitters remains doubtful. Both however wear wide brimmed hats, the woman has a fine linen kerchief over another more substantial piece of linen and a coif tied at the throat with strings. Her partner has a plain falling band with tassels on his band strings. Both are dressed sombrely in what was probably their Sunday best and seem the epitome of what we would see as well to do puritans, though this style of dress wouldn’t have denoted a religious leaning to anyone at the time. They are just smart clothes. Picture is  © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

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June 5, 2013

A Swarme of Sectaries

…and schismatiques: wherein is discovered the strange preaching (or prating) of such as are by their trades coblers, tinkers, pedlers, weavers, sowgelders, and chymney-sweepers. By John Taylor. The cobler preaches, and his audience are as wise as Mosse was, when he caught his mare. Printed in London in 1642, this is an attack on the mechanic or  independent preachers without livings who had sprung up in the religious turmoil of pre-war London. Nick Poyntz’s blog on this (and other things) is recommended. Click on this link for a more detailed description of the background of this publication

There’s not a lot of detail here, but this is a representative group of independently minded folk gathered at the Nag’s Head in Coleman Street to listen to a preacher in a tub deliver the word. Was he a cobbler or a sowgelder? We will never know though we can see his clothes above the waist. He is wearing a doublet with a day cap on his head and possibly a glimpse of a blue apron around his waist that would mark him as a tradesman rather than a cleric. The rest of the congregation are suitably dressed, women in petticoat, waistcoat and kerchief, one in a coif and another in a hat. The men are in short-tabbed doublets and breeches with hats. Most are wearing cloaks too. It can’t have been all that warm at the Nag’s Head!

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May 15, 2013

Catherine, Lady Brooke

Painted in or around 1643 this picture has been attributed to Theodore Russell. Catherine was the wife of Lord Brooke the prominent parliamentarian and general who was killed by a royalist sniper whilst directing the siege of Lichfield. This portrait must have been finished after his death as Catherine wears widows weeds and holds a posy of significant flowers. She is wearing a black bodice over a white linen smock with a doubled kerchief  which is tied at the throat with bandstrings and a gossamer-thin black linen  hood or chaperone on her head. She also wears a white linen coif tied with strings under her chin. Picture courtesy of Roy Precious Antiques and Fine Art. It’s still for sale as as the time of posting.

Catherine Lady Brooke

The posy included pink laurel which was associated with honour, triumph and eternal life. I think there may also be some rosemary here for remembrance. I’m not sure what forms the pinked black edge to the bodice. It looks like a very fine black linen but if it’s part of the bodice it’s tricky to tell. Notice how white and fine her linen is though. This was a wealthy lady.

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This close up shows the ties used to keep her coif and kerchief in place. Interestingly you can also see the top of her smock which is much lower than the neck line of her kerchief. Usually both are of about  the same height, but in this case the kerchief is tied very high up her throat.

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May 10, 2013

Hester Pooks

The wife of John Tradescant again, painted by an unknown british artist around 1645. No apologies for the repeat as there aren’t that many nice portraits of women from the 1640s and this is another good one. Hester is wearing a broad brimmed felt hat over a lace edged coif. You can only see the edging in the portrait, poking out from under the brim. She has a double layer linen kerchief over a black bodice and her smock has a high collar. Picture © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

Hester Pookes Ashmolean

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April 30, 2013

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