Posts tagged ‘cuff’

November 29, 2013

Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer

From the Bridgeman Art Library (hence the watermark). I can see no reason why this has been labelled as Royalist or cavalry, but there you are. It is undated, though to my eye, the clothes and the style of the portrait set it firmly in the Civil War period. The picture is in private hands somewhere and is  © Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts, New York.

The officer is staring out of the picture quite nonchalantly and is standing defiantly foursquare in his buff coat and breeches. He looks like he’d rather be off out than stay indoors having his portrait painted.

The perfectly white sleeves of his doublet contrast with the black of his breeches and are brocaded (or perhaps embroidered) in an intricate pattern whilst his buff leather coat is also extravagantly laced at the front. His falling band is edged in a wide band of lace, though his cuffs don’t actually match, being ruffled but not edged with lace. Note also the line of buttons down the side of his breeches and around the bottom edge too. His boots are lined with red leather and the boothose edged with lace, though again not the same pattern as his band, which is either sloppy dressing or indicates that as a soldier he didn’t care too much! He is wearing spurs to indicate that he is off to ride a horse, though not necessarily in a cavalry regiment. His baldric and sword seem to be quite plain and businesslike which suggests that they have seen action.

 

Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer, c.1640 (oil on copper), English School, (17th century) : Private Collection

November 29, 2013

Portrait of an Unknown Officer

This painting came up for auction in 2008 at Gorringes Auction House in Lewes and has been attributed to John Souch. It certainly looks like the style of the portrait painter from Chester and the clothes worn by the officer are spot on for the period. He is wearing a thick leather buff coat laced together down the front with silk satin sleeves seemingly laced in to the coat rather than attached to an underlying doublet. His falling band and cuffs are neat with matching lace edges and his sword hangs from a nicely embroidered baldrick. The magnificent plume on the helmet beside him nicely matches the colours of his lacings and the edges of his baldrick.

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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 25, 2013

William Seymour

Painted, it is thought by Gilbert Jackson, this portrait came up for auction at Sotherbys and presumably is in private hands. William was Marquis of Hertford and later the second Duke of Somerset. He fought in the West for the royalist cause, at Lansdown and with Rupert in Bristol , later being recalled to Oxford to  hold the city in the King’s absence while he was on campaign. He was also foremost in trying to reach agreement between King and Parliament through his brother-in-law the Earl of Essex.

William is pictured in a plain black short tabbed doublet, laced falling band and cuffs. The doublet is cheekily open at the bottom to show a small piece of lace poking out from his shirt.

William Seymour, Marquess of Hertford

 

 

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Here is a detail showing the lace on his band. Notice also the braided decoration on the seams of his doublet.

 

 

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October 10, 2013

The Foure Complexions: Melancholy

One of a set of prints engraved by William Marshall and published in 1637, this image shows a high class woman, though seemingly (from her expression) not quite as sad as the title would suggest.

The verse below says:

“When I am forced to work my Shoulders droop, for I am tall and doe not like to stoope”

I can’t see anyone forcing this lady to work and anyway in the boned bodies she is wearing it would be almost impossible to bend very far. The tabbed bodies she is wearing are attached to a large set of slashed sleeves on top of which are some over-sleeves fastened at the elbow. Her cuffs and the rather old fashioned layered and stiffened collar are edged with wide lace. Her under petticoat is embroidered, certainly as far as we can see and she has a second petticoat open at the front and fastened around the waist with a tie, possibly a matching ribbon. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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In this detail of her upper body, you can see how low the fashionable neckline was and notice the edge of her smock visible at the top of her bodies. This smock obviously doesn’t have a collar!

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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 4, 2013

The Resolution of the Women of London to the Parliament

Wherein they declare their hot zeal in sending their husbands to the warres, in defence of King and Parliament, as also the proceedings of the King at York, with their full determination in maintaining this their Resolution, to the admiration of the Reader. This was a political tract published during the ‘phoney’ war of 1642 before hostilities had been declared and whilst King and Parliament were still jockeying for position.

There was obviously a lot of activity at the time (notice that George Thomason has added the date Aug 26 over the picture), as on the first page the anonymous author mentions ‘daily noise of Drummes’ and ‘the powder which is continually spent, together with the cracking of Guns in the streets’ . Perhaps there was an ulterior motive in this exhortation to the men as she goes on; ‘our continual scolding shall make them goe to the warres, and then we will in our husbands absence, live as merrily may be, drinke, feast and walk abroad’.

The woodcut is obviously reused. The speech bubble has been crudely added and there is no reason in the text for the man  to be wearing cuckold’s horns  or holding a writing tablet, but it’s a nice image of a respectably dressed couple from the time. She is wearing a wide brimmed hat with plumes, a fine laced kerchief and cuffs, waistcoat with sleeves of a different colour to the body, a decorated petticoat and apron. He has a hat through which his horns protrude, a short tabbed doublet, plain band with breeches and hose.

 

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September 3, 2013

See Heer Malignants Foolerie

retorted on them properly. Satirical pamphlet from 1642 showing Archbishop Laud as a closet catholic. There are three figures shown in the picture increasing in their obvious Catholicism as you look from left to right.  As the title says:

The Sound-Head, Round-Head, Rattle-Head, well plac’d where best is merited

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The left hand figure is an independant cleric, dressed in his gown over a doublet with some nice long buttons, a wide brimmed hat and a ruff.

The text underneath reads:

This foolish world is full of foul mistakes

Calls virtue, vice, & Goodnes, Badnes makes

The Orthodox, Sound and Religious Man

Atheists call Round-Head (late) a Puritan

Because Hee (roundly) Rattle-Heads, Truth’s foes

Plainly depaints, As this next figure showes

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The next figure in the centre on one side represents Archbishop Laud in his bishop’s rochet (the bishop’s surplice), chimere (the black gown) and square cap, and on the right a catholic priest in cassock and biretta. It’s thought that he is supposed to be Robert Philips who was the Queen’s confessor who had been locked in the Tower for refusing to swear on a “heretical” English bible.

This time the text reads:

See heer, the Rattle-Head’s most Rotten-Heart,

Acting the Atheists or Arminians part;

Under One Cater-cap a Ianus-face,

Rejecting Truth a Crucifixe t’embrace

Thus Linsey-Wolsie, Priestly-Prelates vile,

With Romish-rubbish did men’s Soules beguile

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At the bottom, the details of the shoes are nice too. The puritan has the widest side openings though.

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May 31, 2013

William Fiennes

The eighth Baron, first Vicount Saye and Sele, and father of Nathaniel, William Fiennes was one of the prime movers and shakers of the parliamentary cause, both in the political scene in London and in the pursuit of the war. Here he is painted by Adam de Colone in 1628, some years before the war but in a style that would still surely have been worn in the provinces right up to the 1640s. William is wearing a short tabbed black doublet slashed in the body and sleeves, a matching pair of breeches tied with points to the doublet, collar ruff and matching cuffs. Spot also the buckle that fastens the belt across his waist that conforms to the down pointed waistline of his doublet. The original hangs in the gallery of Broughton Castle and the image is copyright Lord Saye and Sele Broughton Castle

Broughton Castle 5-49-1

May 29, 2013

Nathaniel Fiennes

Second son of the William Fiennes, the 1st Viscount Saye and Sele, Nathaniel had a mixed war on the Parliament side. He was elected MP for Banbury in 1640 and took part in several actions early on and fighting with distinction at Edgehill. Later he found himself embroiled in a political argument following his surrender of Bristol to Prince Rupert’s forces in 1643. He made a spirited defence of his actions for which he was really not at all at fault, but following this he retired from public life for the rest of the first civil war. This rather splendid portrait was painted during the war by Michiel Jansz van Miereveldt and hangs still in the Great Hall of Broughton Castle near Banbury, the ancestral home of the Fiennes family and is copyright Martin Fiennes.

Nathaniel wears clothes that at first sight are understated but if you look closely it’s real quality stuff. The sleeves and skirt of his buff coat are officer thickness. I’ve seen surviving ordinary trooper’s versions and the leather is much thinner. Pay close attention also to the scalloped edges on the over sleeves. His orange parliamentarian scarf is silk, and decorated with a thin stripe of silver thread embroidery. His falling band has been and tied down for action with the bandstrings, but notice the detail on the tassels. That’s not simple work either. The lace on his band is matched with his cuffs. His breast plate and righthand gauntlet are decorated with gilt rivets as is the helmet hanging beside him. Last but not least, his sword is a serviceable mortuary hilt rather than a rapier, but the handle is wrapped with gold wire.

Update. There are, as pointed out by two commenters, a set of tassets or leg protectors peeping out from below his buffcoat at the very bottom of the portrait. This makes no sense at all, you could never sit on a horse as Nathaniel would have done with armour that reached so low. Perhaps the artist began the picture with full armour, in common with a lot of military portraits of the age and for whatever reason changed to a picture that was more representative of what was worn on the battlefield, but omitted to paint out the leg armour?

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