Saturday 21 December 2013

Hollar's ladies in winter clothing 1639-1649

Figure 1 - Pennington 609
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) published a large number of costume prints in the middle of the seventeenth century; this looks at those that depict Englishwomen in winter clothing. The images examined are Pennington numbers 609, 613, 617, 1789, 1888, and 1999. Pennington (2002) wrote a full catalogue of Hollar’s engravings and assigned each print a number, the print histories of Hollar’s works are very complicated and some prints have several states, where for example the engravings have been reworked, I am not going to comment on the states of the prints. The link should take you to better images.

 Four of the prints are full length and two are half-length, all are known to have been drawn and printed between 1639 and 1649. I have sourced them in several ways, from my own collection, from Wikimedia Commons and from the Hollar Digital Archive, which I recommend as it has all of the Ornatus, Theatrum and Aula prints, but not Hollar’s Season.

Two items of clothing accessory appear in all of the prints, a hood, and a fur muff, a third a half face mask appears in all except the rear view, where obviously you can’t see her face. Three of the ladies have a fur around their neck, and a fourth has a fur on the table next to her.

Pennington 613
1.         Pennington 609. This is the full length Winter from Hollar’s Seasons, with the date 1643. She is  standing at the junction of Cheapside and Poultry in the City of London. (Hollar, 1979). The lines underneath her read,

“The cold, not cruelty makes her weare

In winter, furs and wild beasts haire

For a smoother skin at night,

Embraceth her with more delight.”

She is wearing a fur collar and muff, a chaperone hood with a second hood/coif underneath, and a half mask. It looks as though she is holding up two skirts, the shirt of her gown and a petticoat, and there is another petticoat with a lace trimming around the hem. Her shoes have high heels and she wears a shoe rose with them. I refer to the fur collar as a collar, but there were several different names in use, though it is sometimes difficult to ascertain what precisely is meant by a palatine, a tippet (Weiss, 1970) or a zibellini (Sherrill, 2006)

Figure 3 Pennington 617

2.         Pennington 613. This is the three quarter length Winter engraved in 1641. The lines underneath her read:

            “Thus against winter wee our selves doe arme

            and think you then the cold can doe us harme

            but though it bee to hard for this attire

            yet wee’ll orecome it not with sword but fire.”

She is wearing a hood and carrying a muff, her half mask and fur collar are on the shelf next to her. She is also wearing gloves, as can been seen by the wrinkles going up her wrist and the lines from her fingers. Gloves were ubiquitous and bought in large quantities, the accounts of the Marquis of Hertford for the year 1641-2 show gloves being bought for his teenage children six pairs at a time, more than 100 pairs of gloves were bought for the six children in the course of one year, at one point “five dozen and ten paire of gloves for the young ladies” were purchased at a cost of £2 9s 8d. (Morgan, 1945) These accounts also show hoods being bought for “the young ladies”, that is the three daughters of the Marquis, “paid for two black taffetie hoods for my ladie Francis 7 shillings”


Figure 4 Pennington 1789
3.         Pennington 617 is another three quarter length issued by Stent in 1644. (Globe, 1986) This lady wears the same four items as the previous two, a muff, hood, fur collar and half mask. A full face mask was discovered in 2010 and a full record for it can be found on the database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Half masks were tied on as can be seen in the Hollar engraving where the lady is not wearing a hood.


Figure 4a
4.         Pennington 1789, this full length is from Ornatus, and was drawn in 1639. She has the hood, muff and half mask, but she also has what looks to be a waist length cloak or shawl. Interestingly Cunnington (1972) describes this as an ample overcoat, but a closer inspection of the print shows that what they took to be a sleeve is a folded piece of cloth. A similar, but single layer, rectangle of cloth can be seen in another front view from Theatrum  see figure 4a


5.         Pennington 1884 is a rear view with the label Nobilis Mulier Anglica in Vestitu Hiemali (Noble English woman in winter dress), engraved in 1643. This gives a rare rear view of the hood, and she carries a muff, but does not have a fur collar.

Figure 5 - Pennington 1884

6.         Pennington 1999, another full length drawn in 1644 and labelled “The winter habit of ane English gentlewoman”. In both this and Pennington 617 and 1789 there appears to be a line drawn under the mouth, which might indicate that the ladies are wearing chin clouts or mufflers, piece of cloth worn over the chin and the neck, again these appear in the Hereford accounts. “Paid to Fraunces to buy chin cloathes for the young ladies 5s 2d.”


Figure 6 - Pennington 1999
Cunnington, C. W. and P. 1972. Handbook of English costume in the seventeenth century. 3rd ed. London : Faber, 1972.

Globe, Alexander. 1986. Peter Stent, London Printseller, Circa 1642-1665: Being a Catalogue Raisonné . Vancouver : University of British Columbia Press, 1986.

Hollar, Wenceslaus. 1979. The four seasons, with an introduction by J. L. Nevinson and topographical notes by Ann Saunders. London : The Costume Society, 1979.

Morgan, F. C. 1945. Private purse accounts of the Marquis of Hertford, Michaelmas 1641-2. Antiquaries Journal. 1945, Vol. 25, 12-42.

Pennington, Richard. 2002. A descriptive catalogue of the etched work of Wenceslaus Hollar. Cambridge : CUP , 2002.

Sherrill, Tawny. 2006. Fleas, fur and fashion: zibellini as luxury accessories of the Renaissance.  Medieval Clothing and Textiles. 2006, Vol. 2, 121-150.

Weiss, F. 1970. Bejewlled fur tippets and the palatine fashion. Costume. 1970, Vol. 4, 37-43.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.