extant example

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Lindholm Høje, Denmark

Lindholm Høje (Lindholm Hills, from Old Norse haugr, hill or mound) is a major Viking burial site and former settlement situated to the north of and overlooking the city of Aalborg in Denmark.

The southern (lower) part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, the Viking Age, while the northern (higher) part is significantly earlier, dating back to the 5th century AD in the Nordic Iron Age. An unknown number of rocks have been removed from the site over the centuries, many, for example, being broken up in the 19th century for use in road construction.

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The Ancient faces of the Fayum mummy portraits

Egypt


Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits (also Faiyum mummy portraits) is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of panel painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the only large body of art from that tradition to have survived.

 Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara in the Fayum Basin (hence the common name) and the Hadrianic Roman city Antinoopolis. “Faiyum Portraits” is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to pharaonic times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period at the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt.

 They date to the Roman period, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards. It is not clear when their production ended, but recent research suggests the middle of the 3rd century. They are among the largest groups among the very few survivors of the highly prestigious panel painting tradition of the classical world, which was continued into Byzantine and Western traditions in the post-classical world, including the local tradition of Coptic iconography in Egypt.

 The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial. Extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies. Almost all have now been detached from the mummies. They usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of artistic tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones.

 Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique: one of encaustic (wax) paintings, the other in tempera. The former are usually of higher quality. About 900 mummy portraits are known at present. The majority were found in the necropoleis of Faiyum. Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are frequently very well preserved, often retaining their brilliant colours seemingly unfaded by time.

Personally I`ve seen some at the Museum and was stunned and hypnotized by the ancient 2000 year-old faces looking at me as if they were there with me.

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Shibori-technique kimono. Taisho period (1912-1926), Japan. The Kimono Gallery.  A silk kimono featuring exotic ‘shou-chiku-bai’( pine tree, bamboo and ume blossom) motifs created using the shibori technique. The ensemble of pine, bamboo and plum blossoms are all symbols of winter, long life, and the cultured person, are termed the “Three Friends of Winter” by the Japanese. All the pattern-work on this kimono was created by a form of shibori called “so-hitta”, an overall finely-knotted tie-die. This extravagant technique could - as in this case - splendid results, but was extremely time-consuming and expensive. The mere preparation of such a kimono for dyeing required up to a year, and the work required continuity - any work interruption during the months of work could result in irreparable alteration of the evenness of the results. The technique and design of this kimono harkens back to similar extant late 18th century examples found in a few museums – this style was rare by the time of the Meiji and Taisho periods.

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The Fayum mummy portraits is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to mummies from the Coptic (Roman) period of Egyptian history, their production dating between the 1st and 3rd Centuries. Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara and the Hadrianic Roman city Antinoopolis. “Faiyum Portraits” is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description.

They are among the largest groups among the very few survivors of the highly prestigious panel painting tradition of the classical world, which was continued into Byzantine and Western traditions in the post-classical world, including the local tradition of Coptic iconography in Egypt.

The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial. Extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies. Almost all have now been detached from the mummies. They usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of artistic tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones. Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique: one of encaustic (wax) paintings, the other in tempera. The former are usually of higher quality.

The works have come to be valuable in providing evidence of Roman fashion, including the evolution of popular hairstyles and clothing, but their primary significance is art-historical, holding an importance of immense value to the understanding of the evolution of western art. Ancient sources indicate that panel painting (rather than wall painting), i.e. painting on wood or other mobile surfaces was held in high regard, but very few ancient panel paintings survive. The reason for the survival of so many of the mummy portraits is in a large part due to Egypt’s extremely dry climate.

Some aspects of the mummy portraits, especially their frontal perspective and their concentration on key facial features, strongly resemble later icon painting. Their discovery in the 20th Century altered much of what was known about the history of early western art, and the maturity of the depictions, ranging from realistic to deliberately stylised quickly led art scholars to recognise the aesthetic value of the paintings to be extremely high. The immediacy of the gazes, forming a direct and sometimes challengingly life-like connection with the viewer, has been compared to early modernist art of the 20th Century. “The illusion, when standing in front of them, is that of coming face to face with someone one has to answer to—someone real.”

Men’s hairstyles, ca. 1830

Massive post today, as usual for my fashion posts.

Talking about men’s hair is funny, because when I just line up a bunch of portraits of guys from this period, it inevitably becomes a bit of a collection of hot period pin-ups.  Who says women don’t objectify men, I guess.

In my post on ladies’ hats, I said that hats are designed to suit hair.  Now, the more I think about it, the more this only seems to apply to ladies, whose hairstyles and hat styles are in fairly frequent flux.  For gentlemen, whose hairstyles and hat styles change more slowly over time, it seems that it may be the hair that must suit itself to the hat and not vice versa.  Chicken or egg question.

Now men’s hats ca. 1830 were of two basic varieties: the brimmed cap (for working-class men, young boys, and occasionally hunting/riding), and the top hat (for pretty much all well-dressed guys).  Just as with women, there was other “shit men could put on their heads,” but these were the two basic hats, as in, “shit men could wear outdoors and not look weird.”

^^^Riding cap ca. 1830.

^^^Top hat, ca. 1830.

Let’s ignore the cap for the moment, because we’re talking about fashion, and the cap sadly has little place in fashion ca. 1830.  The top hat was what fashionable men had to contend with, and it was what they had to suit their hair to.

Men had basically two strategies for getting their hair and their hats to work together.  The first strategy I will call “vertical,” the second, “horizontal.”  The vertical solution is to pile all your hair on top of your head, or else comb it in that direction for us sad straight-haired people (who were surely resigned in this period to being plain).  This allowed for the hair to mostly sit beneath the hat.  The horizontal solution was to pile/comb the hair to the sides of the head, leaving the top of the head pretty much smooth.  This allowed for the hair to sit outside the hat (or rather, for the hat to kind of sit on the piles of hair).  Both of these methods worked, since neither allowed the hat to crush the hair.  And when a dandy takes so long to get his hair just so, nothing is worse than getting hat hair.

^^^The vertical solution.

^^^The horizontal solution.

Just like their female counterparts, fashionable men were meticulous with their hair.  They used many of the same products and methods of grooming that the ladies did, including pomade for smoothing and holding the hair in place and curling tongs, papers, and cloths for curling it.  The hair could be parted pretty much anywhere, though in the earlier years of this period (ca. 1825-1827) they were still favoring the no-part, Napoleonic-type combed-forward or piled-on-top styles, while throughout the rest of the period (ca. 1827-1835) most men favored a side part.  Side parts could even be extreme, as in, just over one ear.  The hair was often brushed forward over the temples, but expansive, unblemished foreheads were thought to be a mark of masculine beauty, and so the hair was usually brushed up and away from the forehead to leave it bare.  In describing Enjolras’ beauty in Les Misérables, Victor Hugo wrote appreciatively:

“Much forehead in a face is like much sky in a horizon.”

(He may have been a little biased.)

Curls and waves were all the rage throughout the 1820s and 1830s, and these guys had them in abundance (or made sure they obtained them in abundance).  Really, that’s all you need to know about men’s hair ca. 1830: curls, curls, CURLS.  It’s all about the curls.

External image

^^^Gotta say, this guy’s got nice hair, but he looks like a total douchebro.  One day I’ll post the whole painting, and then maybe you’ll see what I mean (body language speaks volumes), but really, if this guy was standing at the other end of the bar, giving you this look, I’ll bet you wouldn’t give him your number, would you.

^^^Even Louis-Philippe is stylin’.

^^^Ohhh, I dunno, Charles X is pushing it a little.  Those curls aren’t too curly…walking on the edge of uncool.

Because let’s face it, anybody born with stick-straight, uncurlable hair was simply screwed and should have just sat out the 1820s-1830s, because they were never going to be hot and popular.  However, they did try to make do with some sad, sore-loser comb-overs.

Or they could try to coax it to flip up…

…or forward…

…or back…

…or…whatever the hell this is:

(Also, extra points for extra skeezy facial hair on that last one.)

Sometimes they just gave up and cropped their hair:

^^^I assume this is Blanqui’s “prison chic” look, ca. 1835.

Textured hair also makes for great 1820s-1830s hair.  It’s all about the shaping: you can rock it up…

…or down…

…or Dumas, which is always the sexy choice:

In a society that values huge piles of luscious curls, the bald or balding probably had an even rougher time of it than the straight-haired guys.  Victor Hugo implicitly acknowledges how unfortunate male baldness is: being bald at twenty-five comes first in a litany of unlucky things in Laigle’s life.  Unlike for ladies, there weren’t too many opportunities for guys to cover their hair constantly with caps and kerchiefs, so a few false curls tied on in front weren’t going to go very far for them.  Of course, being that high foreheads were cool, a balding guy could always live in denial for a few years, but eventually fate would catch up to him.  Now, he could age gracefully, as I’m sure many did…

…but there were of course full and partial wigs available too for men’s use.  I haven’t yet found an extant example of such a thing, but if I ever come across one, I’ll be sure to share.  I can’t begin to imagine how they would have held these wigs securely on their heads, but there you have it.

Unlike the ladies, of course, men also had facial hair to contend with.  Facial hair was extremely popular ca. 1825-1835, even more so than in earlier decades.  Of course typical sideburns, mutton chops, and mustaches were common, but the most striking and unusual style of facial hair of this period is what I can only call the “under-the-chin beard.”  I have no idea if there is a more concise name for this odd thing, but I just call it like I see it.  This beard sits, well, under the chin and extends along the jawline, all the way up to the hairline.  Like so:

Sometimes, for the extra ick factor, it can be paired with a mustache, thusly:

This beard is extremely (extremely!) common in fashion plates ca. 1830.  It is less common in portraits of the period, but by no means absent.  Yes, guys did have these proto-Abe-Lincoln beards, and they rocked them, I must say.

^^^Work it, Champollion!  He cracked the Rosetta Stone code with the sheer force of his bushy whiskers!

As anyone who has had elaborate facial hair knows, it requires a good deal of maintenance: not only cleaning and grooming the hair itself, but shaping it and shaving the areas around it.  Just as there were professional hairdressers for ladies, there were professional barbers for gentlemen.  (And no, they didn’t all slit your throat and make you into meat pies.)

I’m sure gentlemen who could afford it either visited “tonsorial parlors” or else had barbers come to their homes, but seeing as stubble is constantly requiring attention, I think lots of men dealt with their whiskers themselves, to the best of their ability.  With straight razors, of course.  What could go wrong?

The result is some pretty fantastic facial hair.

The artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s self-portraits from this period show a perfect progression from 1820s to 1830s facial hair:

^^^Young Winterhalter in the mid-1820s.  Abundant curls, no facial hair.

^^^Not-quite-as-young Winterhalter ca. 1830.  Abundant curls, side-whiskers, and the beginnings of a little mustache.

^^^Mid-1830s Winterhalter.  Abundant curls (seeing a pattern here?), and full-blown under-the-chin beard with thick mustache.

And among all these perfect little Beau Brummell types who pet and cherish and maintain their hair daily, there are a number of 1830s guys who plainly don’t give a shit.  To those guys: cheers, it’s all good.

Of course, in the Romantic period just as in today’s bedhead fashion, it’s hard to tell if guys just don’t give a shit about their hair, or if they are taking, like, an absurd amount of time and effort to make it look like they don’t give a shit.  Hmmm…

Among guys not giving a shit, I should also file the long-haired dudes.  Long hair, i.e., hair down to your shoulders, no matter what you’ve been told by a million Les Mis fanarts (including my own past stuff), is not a thing in this period.  Repeat: long hair on men is not a thing.  It is the kind of hair worn by a few eccentrics, but it is by no means a thing.

^^^Audobon.  An eccentric.

^^^Paganini.  An eccentric.  (It suffices to say “artist,” right?)

^^^Liszt.  Artist.

No matter what the Japanese want you to think, Enjolras, that stern, severe “soldier of democracy” and “priest of the ideal,” would not have had a gorgeous, flowing waist-length pony.  

Sorry, it’s just not true.  It’s a little white lie, like the Tooth Fairy: harmless in the moment, but creates an atmosphere of distrust for the long run.  Consider this my PSA for the fandom: stop the long-hair madness!

Long hair looks strange and bohemian, but the award for absolute weirdest male hair I have come across in this period (aside from runner-up “prison chic” Blanqui) goes to famous caricaturist Honoré Daumier in a ca. 1829 portrait:

…Um, okay.  A straight-haired comb-over.  A kinda under-the-chin-beard.  But with, like, totally shameless panache.  Like, “What, so my hair is straight?  Fuck it, I will rock this straight hair!  I will draw further attention to it with this over-the-top flip and uncomfortably long length!  I will also make my under-the-chin beard as off-putting as possible!  I will confuse you by growing out the goatee part of it but refuse to style it sensibly!  I also will not pair it with a mustache, that is too mainstream!”  I love his confidence, but then, I guess if you’re going to spend your life mooning the government without fear of repercussions and generally being the South Park of the mid-19th century, why worry about “fashionable” people’s dumb opinions?  Instead, you should go draw a caricature of fashionable people’s dumb fashions.

After shaming movie hair design last time, I feel like I ought to go out on a positive note:

^^^Yeah, I like.  And it’s funny, too, because there’s a montage in which Pip is transforming from poor kid to fashionable gentleman, and he does suddenly go from straight-haired bedhead to 1830s dandy curls, which I really thought rang true to (1830s) life.  Sadly, the ladies’ hair didn’t live up to the example set by the gentlemen.  BBC Great Expectations (2011).

^^^His hair’s okay, but it’s really his overall look that’s so perfect.  His features are really sensual, and he has that strange 1830s dandy je-ne-sais-quoi.  To me, this is Courfeyrac, right here.  Une vieille maîtresse (2007).

^^^Slightly later period, but still pretty admirable hair design.  The Young Victoria (2009).

^^^For those of you who have spent the last two years bitching about this wig, I have a message for you, straight from the 1830s: Stop.  Just stop.  You’re wrong, and you’re making a fool of yourself.  It’s glorious.  It’s full of curls.  It’s side-parted.  It doesn’t have a ponytail.  It’s BLOND.  It’s everything that historically-accurate Enjolras hair ought to be but never has been in a movie version before.  It’s probably the best thing in this movie, and that’s saying a lot.  The first time I saw a photo of Tveit in this wig, that’s the moment I knew they were serious about this adaptation.  Musical!Enjolras has come a long way from the 1980s fro with rat-tail look:

(It’s okay, I still love the hell out of your Enjolras, Anthony Warlow!)

Marius’ hair design in the 2012 Les Mis movie is also good–suitably goofy, but still totally period:

^^^Horizontal and vertical hair strategies, you see?

I approve.  Now if you boys could just convince Fantine and Cosette to put their hair up…

Theories on the costumes for Beauty and the Beast (2017)

So, being a historical costume nerd as well as a Beauty and the Beast super-fan, I naturally was exultant when the first teaser trailer came out for the live action Beauty and the Beast.

Being a costume nerd (and cosplayer, I might add) came with the early decision that when the film came out I would be dressed to the nines in Belle’s ball gown for the night of the premiere. Now, not knowing what exactly Belle’s ball gown would look like led me to great distress, especially after reading the extremely vague accounts of people who attended the D23 expo last August.

With the release of the teaser trailer, two things led me to believe that the costumes (as well as the general styling of the film) were most heavily influenced by 18th century aesthetics, which I will discuss here. The first being the portrait showing the Prince and his parents, dressed in extravagant court uniforms that appear to be early 18th century styles. Focusing mainly on the Queen, her bodice seems to be shaped and adorned similarly to early 18th century court fashions.

One extant (surviving) example from the time period is a Swedish court gown from 1766 which has a 17th century shaping to the bodice and sleeve decoration similar to 18th century court dress. When examined closely, it appears that the sleeve decoration on the Queen’s gown is vaguely similar to that of the real life example.

Going based off of this, later in the trailer when we see Belle’s torso (unfocused) in the background of the rose, her neckline is shaped similarly to later 18th century round gowns, and although it is difficult to make out, the shaped of her bodice may also fit the conical silhouette of the 17th and 18th centuries. In the image below, I have outlined the neckline and my theorized shape of the bodice in red.

(Because of the blurriness of the background, it is difficult to determine the true shape of Belle’s bodice, so this is just one possibility)

Below I have images of a (reproduction) 1780s style corset and an extant example of a round gown, to illustrate the shape and silhouette I believe that Belle’s costumes may have. Note the inverted conical shape of the corset, and the rounded neckline of both the corset and the gown.

Finally, today there were still revealed that showed concept art of Lumiere and Cogsworth, as well as a B-roll image of the inside of the Tavern, where Gaston and Lefou as well as many extras can be seen. While many of the people in the photo are moving, a few characters are still and much can be seen by their costumes. There are two major indicators that I believe confirm my theory that the overall styling of the film will be inspired by 18th century fashion. These are: Gaston’s coat, which is very obviously inspired by 18th century fashion, and the other men in the image, many of which are wearing knee breeches and waistcoats, which is an iconic style of men’s dress form the 18th century.

Finally, while many of the women are in motion and blurred, or far from the camera and difficult to make out, it is possible that they too are dressed in styles influenced by the 18th century as well as wearing conical stays to provide an 18th century silhouette.

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Boy’s Ceremonial kimono. Taisho period (1912-1927), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery. A plain silk miyamairi boys kimono created as the main accessory during the child’s ceremonial anointment at a Shinto shrine. The motifs of what may be the legendary Momotaro and an unknown woman on a lattice-patterned screen were accomplished by a mixture of painting, yuzen-dyeing, gold foil outlining and embroidery highlights. Miyamairi kimonos often share popular themes, and sometimes, like this one, is a theme unique to one or a few extant examples - we have not seen another with this rare design. The legend of Momotaro is a traditional and popular Japanese folktale about a boy (Momotaro, or “peach boy) who helps the local villagers fight a menacing band of demons. Momotaro has the kind of spirit and bravery that all Japanese parents would want their boy to have.

This is way beyond the usual scope of my blog, but I couldn’t not share this!

A rare and important Mamluk steel sword, Egypt or Syria, 13th-15th centurythe straight double-edged steel blade with engraved inscription on both sides, the hilt with rounded, ridged pommel, oval-shaped wood reserved in the centre, with a wrist-strap ring above and pierced quillon tips
106cm.

On both sides:  
‘This is a waqf of the Emir of Yalbugha, in the year 862 AH(?)’ (1457-58 AD)

Although the reading of the date is uncertain, it coincides with the style of its inscription and presumed period of manufacture. The date furthermore corresponds to those relating to the Emir Sayf al-Din Yalbugha b. 'Abd Allah al-Baha'i al-Zahiri Barquq, who was named to the post of governor of Alexandria on 29 December 1438, a position he held for less than a year, passing away on 22 October 1439 (L. Kalus, 'Donations pieuses d'épées médiévales à l'arsenal d'Alexandrie’, in Revue des Etudes Islamiques, t.L., Paris, 1982). A number of similar swords were donated by Yalbugha to the Arsenal of Alexandria confirming the suggested attribution of this sword (see Kalus 1982, pp.80-86, and Mohamed 2007, p.43, no.12).

Swords from the early Islamic period such as this example are extremely rare and characterised by their straight and double-sided blades. Swords belonging to the Mamluks and early Ottoman Emirs and Sultans are today mainly dispersed between the Topkapi Saray and the Military Museum, Istanbul. The swords in the Military Museum are said to be “[…] a series of extremely unusual swords that were brought back to Istanbul by the Ottomans after the conquest of Egypt as spoils of war and placed in the Arsenal” (ibid, p.124, no.83), explaining the presence of so many Mamluk examples in Turkish collections.

Of the very few extant examples of early Islamic swords, there are two reputed to have belonged to the Prophet and others said to have belonged to the early Caliphs and Companions, taken as booty from the Mamluks by the Ottomans after the battle of 1517. These survive in the Has Oda of the Topkapi Saray and are known as the 'Blessed Swords’ or Suyuf al Mubarake. The Military Museum, Istanbul features similar examples to our sword with resembling mounts and blades and although they are identified as Mamluk and dated to the fourteenth century, they must have derived from the Ayyubid style of the Saif Badawi or the 'Bedouin Sword’ (Yucel 2001, pl.80-83).

One sword of the twelfth century, belonging to Najm al-Din Ayyub, the father of Saladin, the conqueror of Jerusalem, made by Salim Ibn 'Ali for Najm al Din (inv.no. 2355) has a quillon whose socket and guard is akin to that of our sword (Yucel 1988, p.77, cat.no.34). A related quillon can be found on a blade with Abbasid or Umayyad provenance (ibid, p.76, pl.33). For two other examples of comparable pommels and quillons found on fourteenth-century blades and identified as Mamluk, see Mohamed 2007, p.112, nos.11-12. A handful of blades related to ours in the Military Museum, Istanbul are on display (four in the galleries, with a similar number in the reserve collection but not in good condition) of identical size, temper, weight and quality of steel.

The early Mamluk Sultans were Turks from the Kipchak territories, and preferred the use of the sabre, a slightly curved slashing weapon, more suitable for mounted warfare than the Saif Badawi. There is evidence that Mamluks carried and used both types; however the Saif Badawi was reserved for investiture and enthronement ceremonies of the Emir, in honour of The Prophet, who had several straight, named blades (See Elgood 1979, p.203). This Arab tradition of the Saif Badawi was continued in Saudi Arabia, Zanzibar and Oman until the nineteenth century (Mohamed 2007, p.79, cat.43).

Hairstyles and hats, ca. 1830: part 3

Whew!  So now we’ve talked about hair and hats, so what’s left?  What’s left is the good stuff, honey.

The eccentricities of 1820s/1830s fashion can only be fully appreciated by looking at some of the shit women put on their heads.  I don’t mean hats, because that’s just so mundane.  I mean, like, turbans.  Feathers.  Veils.  Tortoiseshell and strings of pearls.  Random scraps of van-dyck-a-licious fabric.  That kind of stuff.  At least it’s a little toned down from earlier decades.

Yeah, I’m looking at you, 18th century.

Hair ca. 1830 wouldn’t be complete without a look at these not-quite-hats-but-what-should-we-call-them headdresses.

First, the good old fashioned turban.

^^^An early 1820s example.  Not too different from the stuff still being worn 10 years later:

Now, I can only assume that this fashion trend, which had actually been around even since the 1790s, had a lot to do with orientalist tastes in a Europe that was just starting to take more artistic notice of North Africa and the Middle East.  The turban example just above seems to support this assumption, with its little orientalist tail sticking out the bottom.  See also:

and

and

and

Now, some people can’t be satisfied with just a turban.  They need to kick it up a notch:

I mean, I like turbans and I like feathers, right?  Why can’t I have them both together on one headdress?  There’s no such thing as too much-much in the 1830s, as we will see below.

Besides turbans, there’s a sort of stiffer, more structured turban that some ladies wear, which I guess I would call a tam, since that’s what it most closely resembles.  You know, like a PhD graduation hat?

(Yes, they look terrible on everyone.  Including this dummy.)

It’s still a fabric lump on your head, but one with more stiffness and shape.  They look a bit like a mortarboard’s bastard child with a beret.  Of course, it’s 1830, so these ladies have to take it to the extreme.  Because, 1830s.  So the 1830s tam isn’t just any tam.  It’s, like, a tam on steroids:

^^^Huh???  What is this thing, even?

^^^Wow, this lady was not to be outdone, by anyone.

You’ll notice that all of these turbans and, um, tams are designed to sit far back on the forehead, so that the ladies’ sausage curls can stick out the front.  Cuter that way, I guess.  But these hats are seriously helpful for those days when you just don’t feel like doing your hair up.  And now that you’ve seen what “doing your hair up” entails for these ladies, you can even better appreciate the usefulness of a turban or two in a fashionable closet.

Another really common headpiece is the so-called “morning cap,” and its sluttier cousin, the kerchief.  The morning cap is a form of undress, that is, stuff ladies lay around the house in, before they feel like getting dressed to go out.  The kerchief is what you tie on your head when you’re a brazen wench hanging out the window and making kissy faces at the hot guys in the street:

Kidding, it’s something you wear to bed over your hair.  But in all seriousness, it is boudoir chic, so maybe not something you’re going to receive company in.  Unless it’s that sort of company.

 The morning cap is usually seen on married women, especially if they’re old and crotchety:  

But it’s also for the young and nubile ones that guys are always trying to hit on:

^^^The bigger the better, amirite?  Welcome to the 1830s.

^^^Looks like she has some competition, though.

As you can see in the above examples, it’s basically a simple cap made of embroidered muslin, netting, or lace that falls around the face in flounces and ruffles, decorated to hell with ribbons and held onto the head with pins.  Like the turban, it covers all the hair except for the curls on your forehead.  Because of this, women found morning caps and turbans useful for wearing with fake curls, as mentioned in a previous post.

^^^I think this is also a morning cap, there on the right?  It doesn’t cover her hair too thoroughly, though, so it kinda just looks like a pile of ribbon and lace plopped on her head.

Besides morning caps, there are caps that I would call more of a coif.  

(For the non-medievalists, ^^^this is a coif.)

Coifs continued to be worn by women of the lower classes from the Middle Ages through the 20th century, though by the 19th century they were being called “caps” and required a more complicated pattern:

These coif-looking caps were probably used in much the same way as morning caps, to cover the hair of married ladies.  They’re more plain, though, and they give me more of a homespun, provincial feel, despite being made out of amazingly fine muslin and linen that couldn’t have been cheap to buy or to maintain:

You’ll notice for these examples that most of them have a ridiculously tall crown in the back.  As with the hats that I looked at in the previous post, that’s of course to accommodate the very tall hair of the period and not squash it.

Here are some extant examples of caps that fall somewhere between the simpler coif style and the more floofy morning cap style:

^^^Made of fine netting.  Amazing that it survived this long.

Here’s another weird hybrid that looks like a coif, but with an extended brim and a neck protector, making it more of a sun bonnet:

Besides caps and turbans, women also had the option of wearing veils.  Veils came in two basic types: those intended to be affixed to a hat of some type, and those worn directly on/in the hair.  Veils worn in the hair were a common sight at special occasions such as balls, the opera, and, yes, weddings.  The bridal veil is just one type of special-occasion veil in this period, and in appearance, it looks fairly indistinguishable from other hair veils.

^^^Normal dressy veil.

^^^Bridal veil.

^^^????  Not really sure.

^^^Crazy veil.

^^^Awesome veil.

Then there are some veil types that are unusual, and defy description.

^^^Almost more of a kerchief.

^^^What is this?

Veils are extremely common on hats as well.  They were worn to keep the sun and elements off the face, but also for modesty and especially by women who were “up to no good” and did not wish to be recognized in public.  Not all veils were long, though–some were only little fringes hanging from the brim of the hat.  For show?

^^^Riding/hunting hat with veil.

^^^Incognito…

^^^…but then she recognizes a friend and stops to chat.

^^^They come in colors, too!  The return of the greenness of hats.

If none of these headdress options appeal to you, you will always still have the good old mainstays of 1830s hair fashion: ornaments, combs, and tiaras.

^^^Tortoiseshell combs: very, very popular in this period.

^^^Fab tiara!

^^^Again!

And every once in a while, you come across an exemplary example.  By which I mean, an example who is more 1830 than 1830, for whom “too much-much” does not even come close.  Because one headpiece is never enough:

Oh so baroque!  She’s one fierce, detailed-oriented diva.

So that was hair and hats.  It took forever, but it’s a lot of gorgeous and fabulous to take in at one time, and so better digested in parts.

2

Shibori Kimono.  Taisho period (1912-1926), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery.  A silk kimono featuring exotic ‘shou-chiku-bai’( pine tree, bamboo and ume blossom) motifs created using the shibori technique. The ensemble of pine, bamboo and plum blossoms are all symbols of winter, long life, and the cultured person, are termed the “Three Friends of Winter” by the Japanese. All the pattern-work on this kimono was created by a form of shibori called “so-hitta”, an overall finely-knotted tie-die. This extravagant technique could - as in this case - splendid results, but was extremely time-consuming and expensive. The mere preparation of such a kimono for dyeing required up to a year, and the work required continuity - any work interruption during the months of work could result in irreparable alteration of the evenness of the results. The technique and design of this kimono harkens back to similar extant late 18th century examples found in a few museums – this style was rare by the time of the Meiji and Taisho periods.

Runic Calendar on Ivory, Sweden c. 1500

Calendars in bookform made on ivory are of the utmost rarity. This is probably the most extensively illustrated example extant, and the only specimen in private hands.

The calendar contains Runes of the younger Futhark, some saints’ names added later in French in capitals, 1 solar circle drawn like a ropework spiked wheel with solar numbers in runes, another drawn like a spiked wheel with solar numbers in Gothic book script of medium to low grade and quality, 32 feast day symbols indicated with symbols, runes, crosses and fishes in black and red, 80 drawings of saints in black and red copied after a Flemish book of hours, use of Brughes.

More on Runic Calendars…

3

Got a bit more work done on the amazing FeR Miniatures Queens Rangers Officer in 75mm.

They have placed the date around 1777. However, the jacket is based on an extant example which I place around the 1793 revival of the regiment in Canada.

The Rangers serving in the Revolutionary war did not have the black facings. The jacket is also cut in the “narrow back” style. Something which came into popularity later on in the 18th century.

Another interesting thing about the cut of the 1770’s ranger jacket is that it was sleeveless. The Rangers primarily wore a “roundabout” jacket. A simple sleeved waistcoat with sleeves. Their full tailcoat was sleeveless so the sleeves and wings from the round jacket protruded from underneath.

2

Embroidered Kosode.  Bunka of, Edo period (1804-1818), Japan.  A rare silk uchikake featuring much finely silk and gold-metallic embroidered wisteria, peonies, tatewaku (serpentine line) motifs, as well as stenciled imitation tie-dyeing (kata kanoko). The red background color was created from the benibana (safflower), indicating that this kimono was commissioned by the samurai or nobility class, as it’s use was very expensive and restricted. This is the only extant example of this style we have come across that is not in a museum. The other several examples are found in Japanese museums: there is an example found in the Tokyo National Museum (as described in the volume “When Art Became Fashion”, catalogue 48, p 257); and p 4 of Japanese Kimono Designs of the Nomura Collection.

Life Before (and After) Page Numbers

Print media evolved into its present forms. 

In, say, 1469, there were no page numbers. This obvious and now necessary part of the book’s user interface simply did not exist. 

The earliest extant example of sequential numbering in a book (this time of ‘leaves’ rather than pages, per se) is the document you see at the top of this page, Sermo in festo praesentationis beatissimae Mariae virginis, which was printed in Cologne in 1470. The practice didn’t become standard, the wonderful I Love Typography tells us, for another half century. 

The page number is particularly interesting, I think, because it is a pointer, a kind of metadata that breaks apart a work into constituent parts. The existence of page numbers creates a set of miniature sub-publications to which someone can refer.

Read more. [Image: Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf]