Sunday, November 22, 2015

Featured Garment(s): Two 15th Century Pilgrims

The chosen garments this week are those of the two Pilgrims on Folio 102r, in Le Livre des faiz monseigneur St. Loys.  The manuscript is about St. Loius--and importantly, his family--, and includes actual historical items, and accounts of miracles and such.  It was commissioned by the Cardinal Charles de Bourbon for one of his sisters-in-law (we do not know which one).  The current dating--exact date is unknown--of the manuscript is assumed to be the late 1470s, very beginning of the 1480s, based on the clothing and the prologue stating who it would be given to [Hoover.  Pp. 10].  Read the Hoover text for more information. 

 I found this interesting not as much for the clothing, which is fairly standard pilgrims clothing for the period, but for the detail of the accouterments--of the accessories.

In this image, you have two pilgrims; a younger, and a older--presumably more experienced--one.  You can see that the younger is wearing a pale red/pink gown, with a shepherds budget or scrip around his waist, and a costrel about his neck, and the standard broad brimmed hat (in blue).  Strangely, his staff is not the iconic pilgrims staff with nobs.
The older man is wearing similar garments (discussed below), in two shades of blue, and with a brown lining.  His hat is more of a "pork pie" shape, with a narrower brim.  Around his neck is a form of pilgrims satchel I have not seen before, although it could be the Fassing sack, with an extra long slit to allow it to be carried around the neck rather than slung over the shoulders.  At his hip is a large costrel (I believe), and knife, and he is carrying the signature pilgrim's staff with nobs.

Unlike the more usual clothing for the period, there is no sign of the sleeve puffs causing broad shoulders in the gowns--instead, they seem to roughly follow the body, albeit with some extra width in the front.  In other words, they appear to be a simpler, more practical version of the Burgundian gown--no shoulder pleats, no tight doublet underneath.  Both the boy and man appear to be wearing the same kind of gown, however, the man is either wearing two--the outer with a slit to the waist (and lined) and shorter (3/4 length) sleeves, which are slightly rolled up; or he is wearing a looser sleeved doublet (which I haven't seen anywhere else).  You can see that the sleeves are all cut longer than needed to produce the horizontal folds, and are cut slightly full (especially the man's)--just enough for comfort, but not enough to waste much fabric.  At least two buttons are visible at the neck of the man's robe.

There is no sign of the iconic pilgims satchel or cloak.
The boy's waist satchel is very similar to those worn by (illustrations of) shepherds in the same time--essentially a cloth fanny pack, which ties or toggles shut.  Looking at his costrel--I believe it is actually one of the clay or ceramic examples, based on the foot it appears to have, and the lack of a top seam.  He is carrying one or two bowls.  You can also see a touch of whatever the boy is wearing under his gown--just the collar.

On their heads are the needed hats, with obligatory pilgrims badges.  You can see the shell shaped badge that is likely James the Great, from Spain [Kunera], on both of their hats.  I also realized that a couple of them are likely staves, or a staff on a shell (black next to the white staff/sword/thing).  An undercap or coif like garment is also visible under his hat.

No sign of the coif here, unfortunately.  There may be a touch of white undershirt peeking out at the neck.  There is, however a good view of a single edged knife which he is (I presume) being offered.  You can guess that the hat has some kind of retaining cord as well, based on how it is hanging.

Not related to the clothing, as near as I can tell, the boy is blind in his first two panels--the eyes are closed, and he is being led by the older man.  In panel three (upper right) he is touching a relic to his eyes, which are now open.  In panel four, he is receiving his (first?) knife, since a blind boy wouldn't be able to use one?


·       Gown
o   Likely a woolen material, heavily fulled to resist the weather, and lined.
o   I would base it somewhat on Cynthia Virtue’s houpplande draft, but not nearly as full—maybe using four 1/8th circles, rather than four 1/4ths. The ‘V’ necks would be filled in close to the neckline.
o   2-3 buttons at the neck to close it and allow the head through
o   They are around ankle length.
o   Sleeves are moderately close, extra long, with cuffs just big enough to get your hand through, or slightly larger.
o    No sign of internal structure for the pleats—they are just arranged with the belt/satchel.
·       Hats
o   The hats are semi-broad brimmed, although not as much as you see in other pilgrims images.  The brim is turned up.
·       Costrels are obligatory.  Either leather or ceramic.
·       The boy has a carry sack similar to a fanny pack.
·       The old man has either an open topped satchel, or a fasser (double ended sack, with a center slit).
·       Shoes are stout leather, although the man’s have either worn out, or had portions removed to avoid pressing on his injuries.
·       I suspect that the boy having a plain staff is related to his blindness.

Lewis E M 11:2.  1475-1499.  French.
Shepherds.  Note the satchels.

Folio 102r, Le Livre des faiz monseigneur St. Loys.  All images are from here.

Kunera.  Database of Pilgrims badges.  

Buchler, Sunshine.  Making a Burgundian Man's Overgown c. 1445-1475.  (Accessed 11-17-15)

© John Frey, 2015. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.  Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.

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