--- In SCA-Milliners@y..., "susanmrichardson" <susanmrichardson@h...>
>I recently placed a picture by Memling in a file under Sabine's
Things. I have several questions.
> First, is the young lady's hair coming out of the top of the
Second, would cobochans and beads be a suitable sub for the
> gold work along the lower edge of the hat? Third, is this hat as
> easy as it looks or am I deceived because I lack hat making
> experience? I am thinking of buckram and wire for the internal
> construction and velvet with appropriated decorations for the
> exterior. I am guessing that the hat is some type of modified
The answers to your questions are yes, both the girls (who are very
young and unmarried, are wearing modified truncated henins. Yes,
their hair is flowing out the top of their henins. This is to show
that they are unmarried girls.
At this period of low country art, the emphasis in a great many
representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary (often shortened to the
BVM in English) who was called Onze Lieve Vrouw (or OLV in Nederlands
which translates to Our Beloved Lady) focused very strongly on her
virginity and her loose hair. Almost all Annunciation paintings show
her this way and all the non-historical, devotional paintings of Our
Lady as Queen of Heaven show her this way. For example:
Memling, Madonna Enthroned with Child and Two Angels
Van der Weyden, The Gift of Kalmthout (center panel)
Memling, 1475, Donne Triptych. Note the BVMs hair.
Also note the little girl kneeling beside her mother on the right
side of the picture. She is wearing only the lappets-and-loop of her
Mother's transition-style henin-and-lappets.
If you spend time looking at a lot of Early Netherlandish painting
you will find more examples of the loose hair = virginity symbolism
and other examples of the hairband-style lappets and very truncated
henins hennins (almost hairbands)worn by young girls
Here is an example of the hairband-henin decorated only with pearls:
Memling, detail from the St. John Altarpiece (the girl, of course, is
I would love to see your henin when you make it. The buckram and
wire sounds as if it will work well. (You might also use tagboard,
because we know that heavy tagboard-like paper was available in the
late 15th century, and we DON'T actually know what henins were made
of. (My personal theory is that they were made out of whatever the
milliner had to hand - fur-felt; pasteboard; basketwork; wire and
buckram; maybe even leather - all materials that were used for hats
in the fifteenth century)
I have seen many examples of precious and semi-precious cabachons in
Netherlandish painting, but I can't recall seeing any beads but
pearls. They really LOVED pearls.
Good luck with your henin, and remember, if you are not an unmarried
girl, all you have to do is put a top on your henin and you can keep
everything else the same!
Katharine of Cate Hall
Barony and Kingdom of Atenveldt