Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sixteenth century survivals in the Dresden Armoury Collection - notes on a lecture by Jutta von Bloh


 Early sixteenth century clothing is not something I know much about. What follows are my notes,   from a paper given at Below the knee:  pattens, shoes and hose - the MEDATS (Medieval Dress and Textile Society) summer meeting at the British Museum, by Jutta von Bloh – Refinements in sixteenth century princely legwear: examples from the court of the Duke of Saxony in the Dresden Armoury. Any mistakes and misinterpretations in these notes are my own. 

Having looked at the Trachtenbuch of Matthaus Schwartz (1496-1574) and the fencing book of Paulus Hector Mair, Jutta focused first two shoes in the Dresden collection, a cow mouth, or horn shoe of c.1520 -40 with virtually no upper, and a riding shoe of leather covered with folded silk satin probably belonging to August of Saxony, and therefore dating to the first half of the sixteenth century. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate images of either of them.

Quarter size reproduction on the leather hose that survives in the
Dresden Armoury collections
The clothing inventory of Price Moritz of Saxony for 1553 survives, and includes hose of red leather with upperstocks of red velvet. Jutta’s paper on the inventory was published as Jutta Baumel -Der Kleider-Nachlass des Kurfürsten Moritz von Sachsen das Inventar von 1553 und der Dresdener Rustkammer uberlieferten original. In: Waffen- und Kostumkunde 1993 Heft 1 &2, pp65-106. Prince Moritz  parade costume of c.1545-50 in yellow and black also survives, (front view, view from underneath, rear view, without the robe) and was restored by Abegg Shiftung. The book on the restoration work is Das Prunkkleid des Kurfürsten Moritz von Sachsen (1521-1553) in der Dresdner Rüstkammer.  Dokumentation - Restaurierung – Konservierung, by Bettina Niekamp and Agnieszka Wos Jucker and is available for 85 Swiss Francs plus postage.       

The wedding suit of Duke August of Saxony survives from 1548 when he married Anna, Princess of Denmark. This is silver and cloth of gold and was restored in 1988. ( J Baumel - Die Festlichkeiten zur Hochzeit Herzog Augusts von Sachsen mit Anna von Danemark 1548 - Dresdner Hefte, 1990).  It has goatskin leather hose. Jutta had a quarter size copy of one of these leather hose (see photo), the construction of the foot is interesting in that the seam is under the sole of the foot.

As far as knitted stockings are concerned they are first mentioned in 1548. Forty pairs of silk knitted stockings are mentioned in the inventory. A survival has a leather pad inside the toe, presumably to stop wear.

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