Friday, October 7, 2011

Taking Apart Images - Part 8.6 - Children of the Planets: Mercury and His Children - Clothing Male

Now onto the male clothing, of which I know even less.  Bare with this post, it's rough and will be fleshed more as time allows.

First, Mercury... a little research indicates that his head wear is (most likely) called a bag hat, which can also be found in an Italian fresco of Farinata degli Uberti by Andrea del Castagno (c1448), in the Dortmunder Altar, Left Panel by Derik Baegert (c1475) [image below], and Center Panel [image below].  Is there a more technical term for this hat?  I have no idea.

I've been able to deduce that Mercury is wearing a schaub over his 'tunic'.  His 'tunic' has been loosely identified as a houppelande, but I'm still working on verifying this.  Mentally I can't seem to rectify the amount of material normally associated with a houppelande with this 'tunic'.  This tunic is also worn by the older man in Dürer's The Ill-Assorted Couple (c1496) and the goldsmith in this drawing.  My assumption is that this style was likely old-fashioned by this point in history and worn by the older generations.  Until further notice, it's a furred tunic.


Dortmunder Alter, Left Panel by Derik Baegert (c1475) - Bag Hat Detail


Dortmunder Alter, Center Panel by Derik Baegert (c1475) - Bag Hat Detail

Tangent houppelande research! (Yes, I know, pre-period for this research...)

A houppelande as defined by Dictionary.com:
1350–1400; Middle English hopeland < Middle French < ? - (in the Middle Ages) a robe or long tunic, belted or with a fitted bodice, usually having full trailing sleeves and often trimmed or lined with fur.
I can identify two out of the three in Mercury's ensemble, namely the long tunic and the fur around the collar and cuffs, but he definitely does not have full trailing sleeves.  Is this the transition between houppelande and the more fitted styles of this period?  Quite possibly, as the word origin of houppelande appears to date to the end of the previous century and I seriously doubt the goldsmith is that old. :D  But from images I found on 15th Century Female Flemish Dress: A Portfolio of Images, it appears as if from 1380 - ~1450 the sleeves became a bit more fitted and less full.  Therefore, I can say that this outfit has some of the characteristics of a houppelande, but sadly, I can't find many representations of the typical full sleeved houppelande in many Germanic artwork from 1300-1450.  Was it possible that this was not a style practiced in the Holy Roman Empire?  I find some representations in France and Burgundy, as well as modern drawing representations in Costume 1066-1966: A Complete Guide to English Costume Design and History by John Peacock (1986), but that's about it.  I'm beginning to wonder if the full sleeved houppelande was not as widespread as I've seen claimed on various websites and was perhaps centered in France & England.  In any case, since Mercury's outfit does not match the definition for a houppelande, I have no idea what his outfit would be called.  I'll use 'furred tunic' until I find something more suitable.

Tangent over!


The clockmaker... this hat appears to be what some call an acorn wool cap that is likely pinned into the shape being worn (this cap is also on the teacher).  Or could this be a cap with 'hair fringe' where the fringe is pinned inside the cap since both men are occupied with work whereas the diner at the bottom of the image is no longer performing an occupation?  It would account for why these are standing tall and the diner's hat is not and it would answer the question concerning the pins.  His tunic is collared, like the male diner, which means that this tunic is likely what the male diner is wearing under his over-tunic.  It is hard to determine whether his sleeves are laced, but considering how narrow the sleeves are, it's a viable assumption that they are laced from at least the elbow.  The clockmaker is also wearing an apron.


The organ maker's assistant...  A little research indicates that his head wear is called a chaperon.  According to Buckingham's Retinue,
"...the Chaperon is very popular from about 1400 to 1450 and changes very little in style over this period.  However, as you get nearer to 1500 it becomes old-fashioned and is something only the old would wear."
A few of the men in this drawing are wearing this type of head wear, both young and old.  The definition for what a chaperon is comes from Dictionary.com:
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French: hood, cowl, equivalent to chape cape + -eron noun suffix
What it may have been called in the Germanic countries I have yet to determine, but suffice it to say, this was a common practice throughout most of Western Europe at this point in history.   He is also wearing what looks like a buttoned tunic.


The organ maker... chaperon or bag hat or something else entirely...? with split sleeves, narrow-waisted short over-tunic or a coat of some type.


The artist... laced sleeves that go from the back of the upper arm to the end of the sleeve, loose girtle (belt), narrow-waisted short tunic.


The teacher... Possible acorn hat or pinned fringe cap.  I'm uncertain what his robes would be called, but I know I've seen them before today.


The goldsmith... wearing a chaperon and a furred tunic similar to Mercury and The Ill-Assorted Couple., though the goldsmith's and the Ill-Assorted Couple's example are shorter than Mercury's furred tunic.


The man over the body on the table... with chaperon, laced sleeves similar to the Maid (elbow to cuff), narrow-waisted short over?-tunic and poulaines.  This is the only male over?-tunic that exhibits the 'strapped' construction similar to the lady diner at the table.  From this angle it appears as if his sleeves are laced into whatever is under his over?-tunic.



Sleeve Tangent Alert!

This does make me curious as to the origin of 'separate' sleeves.  What was the point and how did they come to be?  After personally refashioning a massively large wool houppelande that neither my husband nor I were ever going to wear into a still rather massive cloak, it makes me wonder if perhaps some of these 'fashions' began as reusing sleeves from previous garments?  At least until they became a fashion in and of themselves, because I have these horrendously large sleeves from the houppelande that I have no idea what to do with, but I could see cutting them down and making more than one set of removable sleeves from them.  I mean, really, whatever became of all the fabric from previous era fashions (houppelandes the primary example)?  I have found that wools and linens are more robust than modern fabrics, so it would stand to reason that clothing would be reused until it obviously couldn't any longer.  We may live in a disposable society, but it hasn't always been this way and it would stand to reason that period fabric wouldn't have been wasted even after it had been used to make a garment unless it simply couldn't be (massive wear and tear).

Tangent over!


The male at the dining table... fringed cap similar to the man from Mechenem's Couple Playing Cards, collared tunic with laced sleeves (likely from the elbow) and an over-tunic (uncertain of name).

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