Some lighter fare

I love when I mix up words in ways that seem telling about me– like the day I was thinking of a bookstore (McIntyre & Moore) but was sure I’d misspeak and say the name of a furniture store (Mohr & McPherson)… but what I actually said was Michelson & Morley, the scientists who first measured the speed of light.  Or the time I meant to say “Wayne like John Wayne?”… but said Bruce.

My most recent one is not at all surprising: I stopped in the middle of a sentence realizing I’d been talking about Boccaccio’s iconic wavy-blond-haired saints.  Boccaccio is a fourteenth century writer famous for De Mulieribus Claris (On Famous Women), so his name comes up a lot in my research!  But of course I meant Botticelli, who is famous for painting blonds, possibly including Caterina Sforza.

But to bring it all full circle, my paperback copy of Boccaccio has a Botticelli painting on the cover (“Pallas and the Centaur”)which is identified in this article as bearing many symbols associated with Caterina and her family.

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1490s sleeve frustration

Well, I’m stumped on sleeves, so I’m trying to feel better by doing research.  (About sleeves.)

But first– the good news!  I found a dress that is fashionable in brocade with fur trim or lining, front-opening, has big sleeves that will fit over my brass aglets, is not closely fitted in the waist, there’s a pattern for it (or something very close) in The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, and also I like how it looks.  How’s that for a win?

Here it is:

Portrait d'une princesse tenant un faucon sur la main droite

Source: Louvre.  The museum only gives the date as “Early sixteenth century” and the place as “Netherlands,” but… I’ll take it.

What makes this dress different from every other big-V-neck “Burgundian gown” with fur trim and big fur-lined sleeves?  Many of those open from the neck past the belt, but until I found this one, all my examples seemed to have openings that stopped well before knee level, with the fur edges getting thinner and disappearing where the opening stops.  In this portrait, the fur edges get wider as they descend from the belt, making it believable that the dress is open all the way down the front. Continue reading “1490s sleeve frustration”

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