A while ago I found myself fascinated with a hat. I blame Tullia. Happily the hat is limited both chronologically and geographically. As far as I can tell this headgear was popular from 1485-1515 in northern France/Brittany and the Netherlands. Even more happily that seems to coincide with my waisted kirtles which I like to wear so much.
I made this cap up for my elevation to the Laurel last year(and completely forgot to post about it). I believe this would be called a “Breton Cap”. I’ve found references naming the decoration “agrafe”.
What I did:
– My hair (which is down to the middle of my back) is braided into two braids behind my ears with a tape and then is laced on the top of my head. Tape purchased from Tudor Tailor’s Etsy store: Hairlacing Kit in Red with Cream Stripes for Tudor/Elizabethan Reenactment Featuring Bronze Bodkin and Ribbon.
– Over that I wore a pair of ear irons. Ear irons made by Louise Passe and ordered from her Etsy store Oorijzer, or Ear Irons**.
– Over this I wore a red silk taffeta coif I made. This is lined in linen and edged with some gold lace. A red ribbon is used to hold this on my head. I suspect I’ve made my coif too small. There’s far too much of my hair showing in front of it. I’ll need to remake this in the future.
– On top of this I wore a black velvet round bonnet (lined in black linen) and a black velvet frontlet (lined in gold silk taffeta) edged with some findings purchased from Joanne’s. The frontlet and bonnet were made following the pattern from “The Queen’s Servants”. I’ve tacked the frontlet to the bonnet and then pinned the whole thing to the coif and my hair with pins purchased from Historic Enterprises. Pins, Veil, pkg of 4 or 10
– The Laurel agrafe (gold decorative pin) was purchased from Etaine du Pommier who also has an Etsy store.
** I’m not certain that Ear Irons were used under the Breton cap. But, considering this is a style from Brittany (the northern part of modern day France) and Brittany is ~400 miles from The Netherlands/Belgium and Ear Irons were widely used in the low countries, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to use ear irons to tame the corners of my coif under the Breton cap. Besides that, they’re just cool.
Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild: English, French, and Burgundian Women’s
Bonnets in the 15th Century: One costumer’s exploration and recreation of historical headwear by Cynthia Barnes (Volume 12, Number 2 Mar-Apr 2014)
From “Anne of Brittany: The Story of a Duchess and Twice-crowned Queen”
“Francis himself, in ducal robes, received with the Lady Anne, who wore a quaint Breton cap and a rich gown whose train was heavy with gold embroidery.”
From “The Queen’s Library”:
From “Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne. Illuminated by Jean Poyer”:
“Poyer paints Anne wearing the Breton cap, which signified her ties to her homeland of Brittany, and dress in maroon, a favorite color of the queen.”
Johnson, Caroline, The Queen’s Servants: Gentlewoman’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII, United Kingdom: Fat Goose Press, 2011. Print.