Thursday, April 13, 2017

Early 15th century French headdress

Detail of Lancelot-Graal. 2° « L'Enserrement de Merlin folio 229v
In France during the first Quarter of the 15th century a horned veil was a popular headdress for those in the gentry or middle class. Briefly the Nobles wore this, but by 1410/15 it was mostly a middle class fashion, although there appear to be a few exceptions.

Grande Bible historiale complétée. Auteur : Maître du livre d’heures de Johannette Ravenelle. Enlumineur Date d'édition : 1395-1401 Type : manuscrit Langue :  Latin
Grande Bible historiale complétée.
Auteur : Maître du livre d’heures de Johannette Ravenelle.
Enlumineur Date d'édition : 1395-1401 folio 539r
Grande Bible historiale complétée.
Auteur : Maître du livre d’heures de Johannette Ravenelle. 
Enlumineur Date d'édition : 1395-1401 folio 16v
The first example of this style of headgear I have found has been in the Grande Bible historiale complétée dated to 1395-1401. There are also early examples in the De Claris mulieribus dated 1403. In both of these manuscripts the ladies wearing this style of headdress are also wearing the fur lined, high collared, houppelandes of the upper class.



Giovanni Boccaccio, De Claris mulieribus; Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France MSS Français 598; French; 1403, 148r. http://www.europeanaregia.eu/en/manuscripts/paris-bibliotheque-nationale-france-mss-francais-598/en
Giovanni Boccaccio, De Claris mulieribus;
Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France MSS Français 598;
 French; 1403, 148r. 
Some of the earliest examples of this headdress have hair clearly visible. It seams to be buned up on either side of the head above the temples. This seems to be a continuation of the young French women to wear dressed braids of the previous century. There is also mention of  wired cones called templettes in the research done by Katrina Wood (see the Kat's hats link below) which are very prevalent around 1415 and beyond.


By the second decade of the 15th century the horns had become very prominent, and the veils larger with more extravagant pinning styles that can be seen in the later works of Christine de Pisan, and the Tres riches heures du Duc de Berry manuscript.
Harley 4431 fol 58v detail (Woman before a man). Paris, France 1410-1414.
Harley 4431 fol 58v detail (Woman before a man).
Paris, France 1410-1414.
Harley 4431 fol 265 detail (Lady praying before the Virgin). Paris, France 1410-1414.
Harley 4431 fol 265 detail (Lady praying before the Virgin).
 Paris, France 1410-1414 

les tres riches heure du duc de berry avril - Google zoeken
Les Tres Riches Heure du Duc de Berry- April

1410 - The Book of the Queen -  by Master of the Cite Des Dames christine de pizan
1420 - The Book of the Queen -
by Master of the Cite Des Dames
Christine de Pizan
By the 1420's The veil has been Almost completely replaced by a rolled hat, (which has been popular alongside this style) which morphs into a butterfly hennin in the 1430's.

Here is a link to some written sources  of this style compiled By Rosalie on her Medieval Women website.

Here is an example of this style of head dress  by Edyth of the completely dressed Anachronist.

Here is some more info From Kat's Hats. She indicates this style at it's peak (1410-1440 in England) was called the Attor de Gibet.



I wanted to recreate the earlier style of this headdress, the points are modest, and the hair isn't completely covered with a heavy wired cages. Now I do not have the length or thickness of my own hair to pull this off with just buns, So came up with a creative solution to help achieve a period look for my persona. It is a mix of wired pieces and hair styling. I can in no way confirm that what I did is the way it was done in period.

I made 2 primitive cages, one side slightly shorter than the other.
Wire work is NOT my strong suit!

Covered them both with some light weight linen!

After some experimentation and jokes about horns and cat ears
I found where I needed them on my head and sewed them to an old veil strap in a head band style.

See funny cat ears? The strap is pinned at the back of my head.

I wrapped my braided hair around the base of the horn,
and used modern bobbies to secure it.
The hair wrapped around the base of the horns made it so the veil strap didn't move!
A bonus for my slippery hair.
Added my Veil, the size shape of the veil isn't quite right.
Most veils in the art appear to be square.
This one is an oval that is folded in half.
Need to play around with some more pins I think!
So Re-try. Moved the veil strap closer to my hair line,
and skipped wrapping my hair around the base.
Then I took a couple extra pins and pinned the sides of the veil to the strap.
I am liking this better- the strap slides less, my bangs are less fiddly, and I have peripheral vision!
Veil is still to big though to achieve the correct look, but this is better.



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