[HNW] Consulting the collective: coifs

Catherine Kinsey Ckinsey at kumc.edu
Tue Apr 14 07:21:54 PDT 2009


I've been digging through resources for over a year for extent examples
of embroidered coifs and nightcaps from the 16/17C.  Found quite a few
actually, both surviving pieces and examples in portraits (mostly
nightcaps).  The vast majority of these, especially the surviving
pieces, seem to be English.  I will be the first to admit that my
language skills are weak however so I may not have really searched the
European museum websites as thoroughly as I had hoped.  Does anyone know
of any examples of an embroidered coif or nightcap, 16/17C era, in a
European museum?  If so, could you please share a link :)??
 
Interesting enough, while I can find quite a few portraits of gentlemen
in the embroidered nightcaps, similar paintings of the embroidered coifs
are harder to find.  There are a couple of english portraits where the
sitter is wearing an embroidered jacket and sometimes an embroidered
coif as well, and a lot of needlelace coifs in Dutch paintings, but
still not a lot of coifs.  Here are some of the best European examples,
in paintings, that I have found:
 
"Last Judgement", by Jacob de Backer, Belgium.  1580.  6 of the ladies
kneeling on the right side panel could have blackworked coifs under
their wired headresses.
http://www.wga.hu/index1.html 
 
Portrait from the French school, c.1585.  Originally in the Weiss
gallery, copy of pic in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 4
 
"Girl chopping onions, Gerrit Dou, Dutch. 1646.  
http://www.artinthepicture.com/paintings/Gerrit_Dou/Girl-Chopping-Onions/

 
The lace maker, Caspar Netscher, Dutch, 1662-4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Netscher_Lacemaker.jpg 
 
So the fashion for embroidered coifs was not just in England, but where
are the surviving European examples?  Anyone able to give me a clue?
 
Thanks!
Catherine
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