February 6, 2015
King Charles painted in a smaller version of the picture that would eventually become the famous portrait in his robes for the Order of the Garter. It’s earlier than our period, but worth looking at for the detailing of his clothes which I’m pretty sure are accurate given the way Mytens (or one of his followers) has also rendered the texture of the carpet and the sheen on the table covering.
His hat is generously plumed and his falling band (that is almost completely lace) lies over the red and white robes of the order. His shot silk doublet is high waisted and of the 1630s style with sharply angled tabs and ribbon points. You can see how stiff the tabs are by the fact that the right hand edge of his robes are held back behind the right front tab. The sleeves are slashed and gathered in a way that accentuate his slender arms but also shows the fine linen of his shirt beneath. His matching breeches are quite closely cut and the silk seems to have been slashed or pinked as an extra decoration. He’s also wearing a very fine pair of white shoes with jewelled rosette ties and some oddly mismatched blue hose on his lower legs. Yet again many thanks to Phillip mould and Co for permission to use this copywrite image from their website
June 3, 2014
The poet and soldier for the Crown, painted by John de Critz in college robes. Lovelace was educated at Oxford where he was granted the degree of Master of Arts. Despite being described in wikipedia as having fought for the King, it turns out that his military career was all on the continent and he was not involved in the Civil War at all. His most celebrated verses are from his poem entitled “To Althea, From Prison”:
“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage”
Richard is wearing his masters gown over what looks to be a doublet and waistcoat beneath, as there are definitely two layers, both heavily buttoned. On his head he wears a scholar’s square cap and a plain linen band around his neck.
The tassels on his band strings appear to be made of tiny knots, rather like an example in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4.
In this detail you can see the intricate work on the buttons and also the embroidery on his glove cuffs.
November 13, 2013
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.
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.
And in the modern vernacular, to be fair, a close up of Mr Hudson and his monkey.
May 1, 2013
School of Cornelius Johnson, painted around 1640. The unknown man is wearing a fine doublet and breeches in what looks very much like the patterned velvet of the black Isham doublet in the Museum of London, although of a more up to date shape for 1640. The lower two thirds of his buttons are left open so he can pull out the fine linen of his shirt. He has darted cuffs and a wide plain band that is fine enough to show the contours of the standing collar on his doublet. He’s clutching his gloves and cane in a manner that suggests he’s keen to get outside and stop all this sitting for a portrait nonsense! Picture courtesy of Roy Precious Fine Art. It is at the time of posting still available for sale. Check Roy’s website for details.
February 20, 2013
Painted by Dutch artist Pieter Nason in 1651, Walter Strickland was for the whole of the war English ambassador to the Netherlands and recalled in 1650, returning in 1651 when presumably this picture was painted. Walter wears what looks like a silk brocade doublet with slashed sleeves, black unconfined breeches (notice the ribbon decoration), and a velvet cloak. He is also wearing some fine leather gloves, and outrageously long black leather shoes. Picture hangs in Sewerby Hall Museum in Bridlington
December 18, 2012
Painted by an unknown artist of the English school, this portrait hangs in the Tate collection. Thomas Pope was nephew of the 2nd Earl and seems to have trodden a middle path, for although his uncle was prominent in the royalist cause, he was imprisoned by the Royalists for six weeks during the war and later in the 1650s, held by the other side for complicity in a “Cavalier Plot”. The portrait is rather old fashioned in style with a turkey carpet and silk drapes, but his clothes are smart and understated. Black doublet and breeches and an off the shoulder cloak, though the details are tricky to see in a photograph. He’s also wearing a needle lace edged falling band. There are some nice details however of his shoes and cuffs.
His silk hose are very slightly wrinkled, but his shoe rosettes are top notch and if you look closely, you can see the seams of his hose that show the triangular inset to make them fit around the foot. Also notice the inkle braid garters that match his hat band and the height of his shoe heels.
This detail of his right hand shows nicely his soft leather gloves, the lace on his cuffs that matches his falling band and the turn back on his doublet revealing the lining of the sleeves.
December 6, 2012
Painted by Richard Hunt in 1642. Thomas Singleton was a London skinner who bequeathed some money to Christ’s Hospital foundation and on his death in 1653, this portrait was hung on the walls as part of his will. The portrait shows that some older men at least were still wearing ruffs around their collars in the 1640s. He’s also sporting a nicely embroidered linen whitework cap with lace edging and holding what appear to be a fine pair of gloves with gold thread decoration. The picture is still in the Christ’s Hospital Foundation.
November 2, 2012
From Wenzel Hollar’s Theatrum Mulierum, published in London in 1643. The lady wears what looks like a short cape and a hood over a petticoat and apron. She has a pair of gloves, possibly linen or leather against the cold and a purse hanging from her belt.
October 1, 2012
Painted in the late 1630s, Francis Legh was one of the Leghs of Lyme and held the estate of Lyme Park in Cheshire for a year or so until he died in 1643. He is quite soberly dressed in a brown doublet and linen band. The details on the band are quite clear in this portrait, it’s easy to see the darts at the back, the simple strings and the work on the bobbin lace edging that is matched on his cuffs. This is a short tabbed doublet, quite old fashioned for the 1640s, but still worn by older folk. The sleeves have open seams to show the fine linen on his shirt, although I’ve not seen the openings quite as low as this before.. His sword seems hang from a belt that is partly waistband partly over the shoulder. Portrait hangs in it’s original home, Lyme Park Cheshire