|Figure 1: Underside of rebato in Metropolitan Museum, New York. CC|
For the purposes of this blogpost a rebato is a wired collar, which can best be described as looking as though you have stuck your head on a plate. The term rebato may originally have related to any wire support that kept up the great ruffs and collars of the late sixteenth century. As Dent described them; “These great ruffes, which are borne up with supporters, and rebatoes, as it were with poste and raile.” (1)
Some of these supports for ruffs and collars were known as supportasse and picadils, these were more likely to be pasteboard and whalebone, but sometimes they were wire. Cotgrave defined a picadil as “a Pickadill, or supporter, of Pasteboord covered with linnen.” (2) Stubbes referred to a supportasse as “A certain device made of wyers... calleth a supportasse or vnderpropper. This is to be supplyed round about their necks under the ruffe,...to beare up the whole frame & body of the ruffe, from falling and hanging down.” (3) Patterns have been made from the surviving picadils and supportasse that are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. (4) (5)
The fashion for the head on a plate style of rebato, in England at least, dates almost exclusively from the first two decades of the seventeenth century. However the fashion appears to have continued later in other parts of Europe, particularly Germany and Austria, as can be seen in some of Hollar’s 1640s engravings, for example his Noblewoman of Bohemia, a Viennese gentlewoman, and a German merchant’s wife. In London in 1611 the Grocers’ Company made an effort to limit the use of such supports among their apprentices, stating that they should not wear, “any piccadilly or other support in, with, about the collar of his doublet.” (6 p. 91)
Patterns from six surviving rebatos, two in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, two in the Musee nationale de Renaissance, France, and one each in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurnberg and the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, can be found in Patterns of Fashion, vol 4. (7) Links to some of the museum records are in the survivals list below.
|Fig. 2. Detail from Anne of Denmark by Paul van Somer|
1. Dent, Arthur. The plaine mans path-way to heaven. London : Robert Dexter, to be sold at the signe of the brazen serpent in Powles Church-yard, 1601.
2. Cotgrave, Randle. A Dictionarie of the French and English tongues . London : Islip, 1611.
3. Stubbes, P. The anatomie of abuses. 1583.
4. Braun, M, et al. 17th-century men's dress patterns 1600-1630. London : Thames & Hudson, 2016. 978 0 500 51905 9.
5. North, S. and Tiramani, J. Seventeenth century women's dress patterns, book 2. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 2012.
6. Heaht, J. B. Some Account of the Worshipful Company of Grocers of the City of London. London : Chiswick Press, 1869.
7. Arnold, J. Patterns of Fashion 4 : the cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, neckwear, headwear and accessories for men and women . London : Macmillan, 2008.
8. Ornsby, G. ed. Selections from the Household Books of the Lord William Howard of Naworth Castle. s.l. : Publications of the Surtees Society, 68, 1878.
List of Survivals
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurnberg http://objektkatalog.gnm.de/objekt/T2062 PofF4, 29, p.92
Met Museum https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/222480 PofF4, 30, p.92
Musée de la Renaissance, château d'Ecouen http://musee-renaissance.fr/objet/col-rebato PofF4, 31, p.92
Met Museum - https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/222482 with matching cuffs. No image on the museum’s website. PofF4, 32. p.93
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich. PofF4, 33, p.93
Links to English Paintings and Prints
Below are links to some of the English paintings and engravings showing both men and women wearing the rebato.
1611 King Charles I when Duke of York by Robert Peake the elder at St John's College, University of Cambridge
1612 King Charles I when Duke of York by Robert Peake the elder at The Old Schools, University of Cambridge
1613 Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset by William Larkin, Kenwood House
1614 Isabella Rich, by William Larkin, Kenwood House
1615 A baby said to be Lady Waugh, by William Larkin, Weiss Gallery
1615 Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke by William Larkin, National Portrait Gallery
1616 Elizabeth Poulett by Robert Peake the Elder Denver Art Museum
1616 Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset by Isaac Oliver Victoria and Albert Museum
1617 Anne of Denmark by Paul van Somer, Royal Collection