more archive diving

I’m finding both scans and transcriptions and condensed notes that at least include original terms.

So today I have a much better way to sort my information, I even have a much better understanding of the items I thought were quite specific, but.. NO HATS!!!

I think I might have found one as it is described as golden. I know the name of the trade, I can find veils and cloths galore but nothing at all related to a hat.

Which is odd. 

But I found green and red clothing. The red is expected the green a really nice bit of supportive evidence of a stained glass window I’m interested in.

I do have some several hundreds of pages of personal papers to go through. One is magnificent for mens gear. It is described with enough detail when the writer describes his graduation, and what all the burghers wear. He includes clothing purchases, and even handily writes a top to toe descriptions that we can use as is.

So this is why I haven’t deep dived men’s wear. I collect information about the craft and the trade but the challenge in finding women’s dress is very much harder. 

There is one top to nearly toe description of a dress for a girl about to go into the orders, and I think also a dress for her a year before.

The list of items for her actually entering orders is really interesting too.

So! Back to the copying!

Juelich sleeves as depicted by Christoph Weiditz

I have been trying to work out if Christoph Weiditz can be trusted for his figures of women from Juelich. These are a lot of figures with nearly the same dress and sleeve arrangement after all and this is not an arrangement we see in the Bruyn portraits of women of Cologne.

I decided to treat these images as if they are representative of what I haven’t seen before, after all the rest of the figures really do match very well to imagery we have of dress across Europe.

We have a wealth of portraits of wealthy citizens of Cologne and a few precious images of Anna and her family. And these fragments of information do support this position as there are marked differences in style while maintaining features iconic of the region.

I am used to hanging sleeves of this region being made from the same fabric as the rest of the gown and lined in fur- and indeed even a very very fine fur that is often depicted as very delicate and very short and a very soft and thin skin- sometimes show with the tails often not. Sometimes these sleeves are pinned back and hide the outer.

1557 Portrait of a Woman of the Slosgin Family of Cologne, Metropolitan museum

However this is not what we see in the Juelich figures. And Weiditz fortunately shows figures with sleeves of this arrangement in his own work to compare his own treatment of this kind of turn back.

In the Juelich figures we can see vertical gathers on the white hanging sleeve where it meets the  fitted upper sleeve which does not indicate that the sleeves are pinned over.

I thought perhaps the way the book was created was from sketches Weiditz created during his travel and then he copied those into his book, thus maybe he did not take note of the colour of the hanging sleeves. His first book has been extensively studied but not this second so I am working with a lot of assumptions here!

However I may be right, as the last figure (pink with black guards) is missing colour on her shoulder to our left. And the figure in yellow has some darker paint on her shoulder to our right which may indicate some trouble. 

However this kind of separate soft and hanging sleeve is seen all over artwork of saints and allegorical figures and it does appear in different forms on portraits of women.

Freiburg, Münster, Stürzel Chapel, Stained Glass 1528 (Hans von Rapstein, Rappoltstein) after design by Hans Baldung Grien (copy, original in Augustinermuseum.)

These figures are not North Rhine but they are of the family of the founder of the Chapel. And the female figure in the middle of the right panel is wearing an example of the loose separate sleeve.

1500-1510 Bianca Maria Sforza (during her time at Tyrol.)
Porträtt av Margareta Vasa. Oljemålning. Nordiska museet 77238.
Unknown Master, German (active 1540s in south Germany) Gemäldegalerie

This is not conclusive obviously, however these sleeves are seen from the south to the north of the Rhine and so might be a kind of shared fashion.

It is tempting to call these “stoichen” after a term used in Cologne inventories as this has been taken to mean a kind of pendant sleeve. I had originally thought perhaps they were matching sleeves as the de Bruyn costume book shows quitely clearly little fasteners on several loose sleeves that match the same sort of detail seen on fitted sleeves (though they look like thumb tacks not pins.) I suspect this is still a term for the type of sleeve even if not a separate item.

But here we do see that a short half length sleeve not only was in fashion in the later half of the century but also it does make for a very versatile garment. Sumptuary laws clearly show that the accessories were a very strong indicator of rank and so were very important. By alternating accessories and wearing the skirt open or closed the one dress can be worn in many ways.

Short half sleeves can also be seen in paintings. The earliest I’ve found is on a child before 1550 and then on adults after this date. These all are puffed not fitted.

Barthel Bruyn the Elder (1493–1555)  Katharina von Gail and daughters, Louvre.

 Sophia Von Wedigh in 1557.
Porträt eines Mädchens

But what of the paned sleeves? These are seen on both figures of Anna and Amela in the triptych of their family, while the rest of their court ladies have loose sleeves.

Anna, Maria and Amalia

This last portrait is frustratingly difficult to find the original. It was part of an auction on a site that no longer hosts the originals nor any information about the auction, and this is a zoomed view. But there is a very clear paned upper sleeve seen here. This is from a pair of portraits thought to be by the Bruyn workshop. They may have been restored or they may be copies as they do not have the same softness of features.

The half length paned sleeve is seen in allegorical and religious figures especially in sculpture.

Of special note is the figure on the far left as she has the same style of hat Anne wears in the triptych. A different kind of cap is also seen on a portrait of the Countess Emeza von Kappenberg as a sketch and detail of the Xantener altar. 

JOURNAL ARTICLE: BILDNISZEICHNUNGEN VON BARTHOLOMÄUS BRUYN D. Ä. HILDEGARD KRUMMACHER Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch Vol. 26 (1964), pp. 59-72. Note the braid is part of the figure behind her, also dressed in contemporary dress and likely another contemporary person.

The figure to the right of the group of three even has sleeves quite similar to the portrait of Maria (the mother of Sibylla, Anna, and Amalia.)

On balance it does seem more likely that Weiditz had access to images or people that are no longer represented clearly in the art we can easily access now. However elements of the style can be found both within the North Rhine and outside. 

Koeln style pages

Oh boy. I have been trying to get dates for a large number of image files, but I think I need to very quickly get what I have online as there are a handful of images that are stubbornly not at all easy to pop into my current folders as the dates simply to not match the style in the art. So I’m going to have to bookmark a whole lot of sites to come back to so I can do this fast start to my pages so that I can then explain my rationale for dates.

a bruyn portrait

Portrait of a girl, age 21 1522 by Barthel Bruyn the elder.

This painting has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It really does look like the work of Bruyn, her face especially but her dress does not look entirely as expected from Cologne, but it does not mean it isn’t North Rhine. 

Last year the painting was taken out of storage to be studied. So far fake aging has been identified as well as an understanding that the crest was added in the 19thC.

I’ll be interested to know to what extent her clothing has been altered, one element rings as untrue and that is the cuff. Not for being rather flamboyant but how the red has been treated- I suspect it is the other side of the cuff but might have been repainted over the wrist as it it was decoration. 

The paned sleeve is also seen in the Weidtz costume book and on the triptych on the figure of Amalia. But the specific style is straight from several Tom Ring portraits of women in the second half of the 16thC.

Interestingly while we are very familiar with the style of hat worn by Anne of Cleves I do have several instances of headgear that is very different.

Right now I am backtracking all my image references to group by date. So this is going to be a bit of a project but it is happening. This post has been brought to you by this search. I have a folder of a 215 images still to date, not including all the bildindex images that also need dates added.

But there will be a page on hats. Because they are extremely misunderstood. There are several forms and how they came about is very fun to track.

new cleves dress

There are times when you just cannot ignore an opportunity and one arose to get a length of the Sartor reproduction weave of the cloth of gold fabric of the Golden Gown of Margareta in Upsala.

Sartor’s reproduction has a 36cm repeat of the pattern

So, for years I have wanted to recreate Anne of Cleves wedding gown or her black and gold gown. But I just have not found a brocade (or brocotelle, or cloth of gold) that really would match what I have seen or read.

Sartor’s other fabrics are magical, absolutely magical. But this weave, though it is 15th Century is closer to the fabric seen in the guarding of gowns all over the Saxon and Westfalen regions.

The fabric is being woven right now. So it’s not available as pre-order any more. I have enough to make the same style of dress as I have recently made or the same style dress as one of her mother’s gowns.

So this means I also need to publish my information about those images or this is my third pretty dress with no information.

I think I have a way to get through it though. I have a few blog posts already added. I just need to get all the Cologne information out first.

This means all the Bruyn portraits first.

Then I can do the Trachtenbuch information. (I have gone through what I think is finally all the books including the italian. I don’t think I have found any more images.)

Then the inventory information.

Or should I just publish the Cleves stuff. It would be out of context though. right lets see what the gallery functions of my blog can do to make it easier.

a bon fine- not anne of cleves motto

I think in Anglo-centric writings and art history there has been a lot of context missing when interpreting the clothing depicted in the portraits of Anne of Cleves.

I have also been looking through modelbuchs at embroidery and found some patterns that seem to be used in art (if not in entirely there are deer/hart that look to be worked in a similar fashion.

I was not able to find any pattern for the scrolling embroidery/weave of the fabric of Anna’s haube which reads “abon fine.”

This phrase has been interpreted to be her personal motto. However this same pattern is found on the clothing of other women across the Germanic states.

Conrad Faber, “Faber von Creuznach”
Tempera/ Öl auf Holz.
53,5 x 38,5 cm.

Conrad Faber was active in Frankfort, which is to the South and East of North Rhine.


The motto also appears on the brusttuch of Barbara Schellenberger in a portrait by Hans Burkmair.

Barbara and Hans Schellenberger
Date Barbara: 1507, Hans: 1505
Current location
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, room 11

Burkmair was active in Augsburg and this portrait is of an Augsburg citizen.

Here the phrase is “a bon fino” In all cases “a bon” is contracted to read as “ABON.”

And on one of my favourite gowns of one of my favourite women in fashion history:

Bildnisdiptychon -Rechte Tafel: Bildnis der Maria Jacobaea von Baden, Herzogin von Bayern
Maler: Hans Wertinger
Datiert: 1526
Bild: Öl auf Holz, 69 x 45 – Inv.-Nr. 18

Of special interest is that his appears to be worked in pearls while the previous seem to be woven or embroidered in dark silk on gold, or may even be gold work.

Anne of Cleves has this motto in a similar pattern (capitalised on a geometric scroll effect outline, worked in alternating diagonal directions on a wide band.

Holbein’s portrait quite clearly show the design worked in red on gold. This may be woven as are most bands on hauben from this region. Most commonly they are purely geometric designs but of a similar scale.

Bruyn in particular captures the gold threads of woven patterns of women of Cologne.

St John’s copy of the Bruyn portrait (note the portrait I believe to be the original has a flat pearled baret masking the view of her haube. I believe the copies to not include the hat are copies as they do not perfectly represent the Stickelsche as it appears in work direct from Cologne. )

The design is worked upside down in comparison to all others (and this is repeated in other copies.) It is also worked in a pale colour, in the small digital copies it appears white or off white.

So this leads me to the most recently discovered potential portrait of Anna.


This portrait certainly matches facial features quite closely, and the haube looks the same as those in other Bruyn copies.

However after a decade or more of looking at North Rhine paintings what sticks out to me is that this is absolutely not the clothing of Nobility of Cleves, Julich, and Berg. This is absolutely perfect for middle class clothing of Cologne. Very wealthy but very clearly of someone affected by sumputary laws.

Red velvet sleeves and busttuchs are found repeatedly in inventories/documents of burgersfrau of Cologne.

The pendant is absolutely of a common shape, the girdle of a common type, the single wide chain necklance. Even the black on black fabric of her goller (kleyr) and gown.

The partlet under her gown is likewise of a type that puts her firmly in the city of Cologne.

It is also quite late in style. I would put this at 1550s. But this stage the Stickelsche (Sticklenchen) starts to look like a wing nut with a flat top and not just width at the upper side but lower side and is quite flat in regards to depth.

Commemorative paintings are not unusual, what is unusual is to lower the apparent status of the subject. Gold brocade trim on the gown at the very least would mark the subject as of nobility.

The painting looks from the surface to be from Bruyn’s workshop. The curved top of the canvas, the shaded plain background, the flat table top in front of the subject. These are also seen in the other copies of the other Bruyn painting.

Without access to information about the painting itself this asks many more questions than it answers.

In all the copies the words are upside down and in pale paint on warm gold. Could this indicate they are painted by someone not familiar with the physical properties of these hauben? Could that indicate they are all copies from outside of her homeland?

If so how can the details of this portrait match so well to the garments of burgersfrau of Cologne?

If this is by Bruyn (possibly the younger) does this mean the princesses could have worn clothing not indicative of their wealth? Or is this a deliberate statement?

Or could it be simply a portrait of an unrelated woman from Cologne?

There is very little in the way of imagery of real people from Cleves, Julich, and Berg from this time to be found online or printed in books. I have been very lucky to have a copy of the inventory of Jocabe of Juelich-Kleve-Berg but it is very definitely from a time where the Spanish influence has nearly overwritten the local clothing style. I have also been lucky enough to find/be lead to collections of inventories of women of Cologne.

A future blog post will explore the artwork of the Duchy, specifically those of the Duchess Maria and her Daughters (Sibylla, Amalia, and Anna.)

the cleves hat

After years and years of searching I agree, yes, stickelchen does refer to headgear. It’s been harder to confirm than might be thought, however dictionaries of the region during the time frame that the term was used are rare. But one has been found. A copy and a transcription.

“sticksel” seems to be the original term. But it still may refer to the band at the front, not the bulk of it. 

Why is is so difficult?

A “stuck” is a piece and “stick” can refer to a pointed stick, literally, or embroidery.

And “chen” is a diminuitive. Also “gin.”

So little embroidery just doesn’t seem correct for a rather large hat.

And at the time “perlen” was most frequently used to describe pearled pieces.

Many of the headpieces were pearled, or made from gold fabric, or covered in netted work. Rarely do they seem to be embroidered in a general sense.

The front piece more regularly is decorated in pearls or jewels.

Clothing is also tough. There are lots of garments, but very little in the way of definition. Rock might be a gown or it may be a skirt alone. And the lovely huge inventory I have is full of spanish styles!

I’ll just have to take time to read the full texts not just skim! 😉

books and jewelry

Today was spent diving into auction sites. So exciting and exhausting finding better quality images than before. It feels a lot like the work I do to rebuild my site- retreading old ground for not much reward.

But today also a book that has finally cemented how I want to approach my own book:

Le Manuel des Marchans moult utile a trestous. Ghent: Pierre Cesar pour Victor le Dayn, 1545.

It’s a merchants hand book. And it just says so much about what was important for a merchant at the time.

Firstly it’s very nice, but also sturdy.

There are tools!!!! In the front a sundial and compass!!!! This together with the lists of locations and dates of large faires really highlights that trade was full of travel! Ditto the pages of coins- for identifying/converting local currency.

And the back! Scales for money.

There are also pages for sketching! With silverpoint.

I mean it’s so wonderful, and absolutely comparable to a modern day netbook or ipad. Or what I used to have at Uni which was like a filofax. Or even a phone case with slots for money, cards, photos and possibly a mini ruler etc.

So I am considering creating a portable sewing/cutting/pattern collecting book. A premade base with elements for individualisation.

I already planned on my plates being able to be individually coloured, but now I can look at making some portable tools to go along with it! And extra pages to record dress and patterns of dress when travelling.

It’s literally the boost needed for the weekend after feeling a little overwhelmed and a bit defeated.


While auction hunting some of those better images have also made it easier to decide on what jewels to make for my Nordrhine gear 🙂 There are at least two variations on what looks like a wheeled mount with a jewel in the middle. And lots of examples of non mounted foliage.

I also made a full list of all the plates I need to do. At 19 so far. Got at least two more bodices to capture and two skirt plates (increasing/decreasing waists and trains) and still a lot of sleeves (so happy with the spiral paned sleeves though 🙂

But I am tired and my hands are starting to hurt.

I do also need to make diagrams and figure drawing to match each. Luckily we have the Lemberg finds and many illustrated examples of a fitted chemise that it will make it easier to do all of this. A shirt tends to hide a lot.

Oh! I also need to get a few shirts transferred to this new format.

printing plates

Not my own plates this time, though I did get my spiral sleeves sorted.

Collecting modelbooks and books of trades really helps with interpreting art. Today after tracking back an image in a document (reverse image search is getting very good!) and then finding the original I was able to find even more images of people in hand crafts.

The book today is often refered to a book on lacework, but it’s clear the patterns are quite far reaching.

Title : [Libro primo-Libro secondo] De rechami per elquale se impara in diuersi modi lordine e il modo de recamare, cosa no mai piu fatta ne strata mostrata, elquale modo se insegna al lettore voltando la carta. Opera nova. : [estampe, livre de modèles]

Publisher : [Alessandro Paganini] (Italie)

Publication date : 1532

Description : Référence bibliographique : Courboin, 1041-1042

Rights : public domain Identifier : ark:/12148/btv1b10537222v

Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE 4-LH-102

Relationship :

Provenance : Bibliothèque nationale de France

Date of online availability : 09/05/2016

This is by Paganino Paganini and according to Wikipedia he pretty much lived and worked all his life in Italy (Brescia then Venice) along with his son.

The works suggest a great deal of contact with German engravers. These scenes of transfering a design to fabric are quite a neat mix of elements one would expect of a German and Italian engraver.

The low slung braids and shaped skirts of one and the evenly rounded linen headdress of the other.

However there is a plate that appears a few times that gets down right Cologne! It is entirely probable the plates were created separately to the text that fills the space.

The timing is perfect for a mixing of cultures, Venice attracted a lot of German printers, and Durer famously traveled and recorded dress of women from the region.

Exactly why there are women in extremely North Rhine clothing has not been able to be uncovered in an afternoon, however the sculptural strip of linen at the front of the headdresses are so very iconic. The key feature being the wings and square frame effect.


This figure even has the braids of an unmarried woman at the front her her headdress but there appears to be a tail to the back that does not appear in North Rhenish dress.

And there is a family connection:

PAGANINI, Paganino
di Angela Nuovo – Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 80 (2014)

Sposò Cristina, figlia di Francesco Della Fontana (Franz Renner da Heilbronn), stampatore tedesco attivo a Venezia dal 1471 al 1486, una parentela insolita nel panorama della stampa veneziana, dove la tendenza era a legarsi e imparentarsi secondo la provenienza geografica.


He married Cristina, daughter of Francesco Della Fontana (Franz Renner from Heilbronn), German printer active in Venice from 1471 to 1486, an unusual kinship in the panorama of the Venetian press, where the tendency was to bind and relate according to geographical origin.


more plates

Today I tackled the gored skirt plates and a pieced sleeve.

Yesterday I took in some clothes (cut, stretch stitch, and overlocked, all needed new bobbins/rethreading.)

I made a small mistake of going on twitter. I follow a lot of science communicators and today was a day of special comments they received.

I’ve also tried to check what I can do for my hands, and currently I have fingerless gloves. it makes it harder to type, I think it’s the pressure of the cuffs. So I’m trying to use my left hand for typing and right hand only for backspace etc.

I’ll give hands a good break before going back to do the last skirt plates. Basically adding trains and turnbacks. Sleeves are kind of fun. I really want to get those twisted Austrian/Anna von Kleve types 🙂

And I’ll definitely have to get the assembly plates sorted as well this week.

I’m also trying to remake my red velveteen Cologne gown 🙂 And really want to make the extreme wingnut shape headdress 🙂

Finally, I washed and tinted my hair again. Just need to tidy the hairline a bit.