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.
March 20, 2013
Engraved by Hollar as part of his collection of costume images from all over Europe called Theatrium Mulierum, first published in 1643. The merchant’s wife wears a wide brimmed hat with loose hair, a three-layer lace edged neckerchief over a boned and laced bodice. her under petticoat skirts look like they are lined with some kind of lace or simple embroidery and the outer petticoat of some kind of satin fabric, possibly silk. Her shoes are fashionably high heeled and she has ribbon rosettes over the fastenings. A prosperous lady, though not high class, she is well dressed for the city.
June 13, 2012
Engraved by William Marshall sometime between 1640 and 1648, Bathsua, once described as England’s most learned lady was skilled in several languages,wrote books and at one time as the caption suggests, was tutor to Charles I’s daughter Elizabeth. Bathsua wears her hair uncovered, but well dressed and has a front lacing bodice and plain, undecorated neckerchief and cuffs. Very much the educated, well dressed lady.
March 26, 2012
of the Hogfaced Gentlewoman called Mistress Tannakin Skinker. Printed in London in 1640. Miss Skinker came from the Low Countries and her mother had been bewitched before she was born. A sad tale, but the gentleman wears a rather smart doublet and breeches with ribbons decorating the leg openings all topped by a voluminous cloak. The gentlewoman herself in a gown over a petticote and a chaperone hood. The thing about this image is comparing it with the second picture which is obviously a reuse of the plate, with the head and shoulders rather crudely replaced.
The Welshman’s Compliments or the true manner how Skinkin Wooed his sweetheart Maudlin after his return from Kenton Battaile. This one printed in 1642. March 4th to be precise. A 17th century spot the difference. Even his name is similar!
March 25, 2012
From The Discovery of Witches, published by Matthew Hopkins in 1647 “For the Benefit of the Whole KINGDOM” Hopkins made his money and reputation out of terrorising the old and vulnerable. He even got local people to do the hard work for him so he didn’t have to stay up all night watching for familiars. Nice man.
Hopkins is wearing a short tabbed doublet which would have been pretty low fashion by 1647. He did live in a backwater of the country though. I know, I live there today! He found several “witches” in my village. The stiff standing collar is also very old hat, though I believe this woodcut must have been made for the publication.
This old woman seems to be sporting one of those odd pointy coifs on her head with a smallish neckerchief, bodice and petticote.
January 31, 2012
or Room for a Ram Head. Witty pamphlet published in 1642 of a discourse between a wife and her philandering husband. Some nice basic costume details here. Clearly shown are the shape of the woman’s bodice and skirt, the man’s doublet and breeches as well as their linen. The wife wears a strange pointed style coif which does appear in several other woodcuts of the time.