fredag 18 mars 2016

Thinking about gold hats

I've been thinking for years that I would like to have a pillbox shaped hat like Uta, Gerburg and Reglindis from the Naumburg cathedral have. 

Markgräfin Uta

Gräfin Gerburg

And, my beloved Markgräfin  Reglindis

It's a tricky thing though. When I started in the SCA, back in the early '90s, it was very popular to make 13th century gowns with matching pillbox hats, though the documentation was virtually non-existent. Or rather, the ill box shaped things were there in the images, but were mostly open on top and white, since they were considered a part of the gebende; the head wraps.

When I wrote my PhD I hadn't seen any colour photos of Reglindis and Gerburg, so while I knew that Uta's headgear was a crown with a hat inside it I wasn't sure if Reglindis and Gerburg wore hats with metal ornmanets, rather than crowns or garlands. So I suggested that maybe two round hats (pileus) belonging to women found in Swedish wills, one from the late 13th and one from the early 14th century, were this type of headwear. One of the hats in question had silver shield shaped bezants on it, which made it plausible to liken it to the hats of Reglindis especially. However, it was also blue, and one thing the above photos show is that all these ladies have gold coloured hats. It also appears that the ornaments are garlands or crowns in all three cases, now that I have access to better photos.

So, all of the women have gold coloured hats, OR stiffened fillets, together with crowns/garlands. The question is: is the gold colour original? It appears to be, but there are  examples of medieval wood sculptures where what were originally white veils have been painted in gold alter in the middle ages to enhance the glory of the saints depicted. 
   Of course, these figures are not saints, but the founders of the cathedral, but maybe someone still wanted to add some extra shiny-ness to them? If that were the case I think that some remnants of earlier colour would be visible where the gold has been worn off, but that doesn't help if that colour was white.

But, there are also written sources to gold-coloured, or yellow headwear in Germany in this period. Historian Joachim Bumke mentions in his excellent book Courtly Culture, clerical attacks on fashionable saffron coloured veils, wimples and the like in the late 13th century.

So, right now I am pondering what colour to make a hat to wear inside my coronet. I don't currently have any fabirc in a yellow colour that matches the baronial coronet of Gotvik, but I think I'll do some experimenting with saffron dyeing this weekend. And if it doesn't work I can always buy some shiny gold silk.

Lastly: Another thing I like with these statues is that they all have gebende under their chins which are edged with gold on both sides. Must make some. 
And the plait(s) : they all have one, or maybe two plaits made close together, hanging down their backs. More on 13th and early 14th century hair options for women here.

Some more pretty photos:

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