måndag 18 maj 2015

Three burgher's wives wardrobes from early 17th century Stockholm

At first I didn't know what to do to celebrate that I now have over 200 followers on this blog's facebook page. Then I came up with the idea to translate and post the wardrobe contents from three of the bourgeois probate inventories from Stockholm that I have been working with the last couple of years.

 So, here, they are: the clothing owned by Sigrid, the wife of Herman the Baker (1603), Barbro Hindriksdotter, the wife of the tailor Erik Pedersson (1605) and the unnamed wife of the tailor Christopher Wöste (1609).

 Generally probate inventories show the belongings of people who are not at the peak of their wealth, since old age in the Early Modern period usually meant lesser income. So when they were younger thay may have had slightly larger wardrobes. They were probably also not dressed in the latest fashions, since they were both (probably) older, and wives of artisans.

Sigrid's clothes 
A new cloak (kåpa) made from English cloth
An old cloak (kåpa)
A green gown/kirtle (kjortel) made from English cloth
A skirt (skört)made from black grosgrain (probably wool), lined with kid (baby goat, probably with the fur left)
A black gown/kirtle (kjortel) from says
An old black gown/kirtle (kjortel) from grosgrain (probably wool)
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk camlet
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from atlas, lined with the fur from the underside of the marten's throat
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk grosgrain, lined with vair and with ermine around the neck
A”half worn” gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from grosgrain (probably wool)
An old cloak lining from vair
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk camlet, lined with vair
A cloth doublet or jacket (tröja) lined with white lambskin

These are all in accordance with the current sumptuary laws, which allowed certain silk fabrics on doublets and shoulder capes, but not ”below the belt” for the burgher's wives. In this probate linen clothes, stockings and shoes were not listed, though she certainly must have had them.

Barbro's clothes 
Five aprons
Two shifts
Two short shirts, worn over the shift (överdel)
An old, short shirt, worn over the shift (överdel)
A hat and a head cloth
Two more head cloths
A gown/kirtle (kjortel), a doublet/jacket (tröja) and a cloak (kåpa) from woollen cloth
A green gown/kirtle (kjortel) from English cloth
A ”half worn” gown/kirtle (kjortel) from woollen cloth
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from brown grosgrain (probably wool)
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from woollen cloth, lined with vair
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from black silk taffeta
A hood
Two caps
A casaque (kasiacka)from grosgrain (probably wool).
A casaque was a short, wide jacket with hanging sleeves, much like my teal one that I just made.

In this inventory you see something typical for the probate inventories: Even worn clothing is listed in the probates, since it could be used even when it was totally worn out, as rags or, when it was linen, it could be sold to the paper makers.
Even if the linen clothes are included in this inventory, we still miss stockings and shoes.

The clothes of Christopher Wöste's wife
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from blue camlet.
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from black damask
A coat (kappa) lined with vair
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from says
A casaque (kasiacka)from woollen cloth

 Here we, again, miss the linen clothes, stockings and shoes, but the amount of other clothes are plausible for an elderly woman, who had some fine materials in her clothing, but nothing extravagant, nor illegal for her class.

Eva I Andersson

3 kommentarer:

  1. Really interesting! Thank you!

  2. I love wills! They have so much fascinating detail in them.

    Two questions:

    1. What's so special about English fabric? (And is it wool/linen/something else?)
    2. Are any of the wills dated pre-1600?

  3. English means English woollen cloth. After the heyday of the Flemish woollens in the High Middle Ages English cloth became one of the most improtant types of woollen cloth traded.