Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Presentation handout

You can download the handout of Saturday's presentation here or by clicking the image.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cataloguing Netherlandish frilled veils

The first six of over 60 pages of catalogue.
The catalogue will contain over 170 works of art and objects that feature frilled veils. It will be added to my final thesis as an appendix.

I will also put the handout of my presentation last Saturday online this week, so that everyone who wasn't there can download it. It is written in Dutch but is has 30 pictures on only 8 pages to explain the text!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Courses in gold embroidery and other textile crafts

When you are in the Netherlands and looking for places to take courses or workshops in textile techniques, have a look at the following sites:


Needles4all organizes workshops and short courses in several locations in the Netherlands on a regular basis. Workshops/courses are announced on the Needles4all website and open to anyone who likes to embroider.
Needles4all's workshops and courses include: gold embroidery, needlebinding, smocking, blackwork, and more.

Creativiteitscentrum Boerderij Oud Woelwijck

This centre for creative arts offers a course in gold embroidery, taught by Ulrike Müllners, a professional textile conservater/restorator.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Frilled headwear presentation on Saturday

Here are some screenshots of my powerpoint presentation for Saturday :)

"A chest with ranssen [=frilled veils]"
Pleated and frilled headwear in the Netherlands of the Late Middle Ages

The name of a piece of female dress made of one or another fine fabric, probably a synonym of hovetcleet [=headdress], namely a bonnet or cap, that fals in folds from the face to the shoulders.

-> This is the definition that is given to the word 'ransen' in the Middle Netherlandish dictionary by Jacob Verdam.

Early examples of frilled headwear.

The places where examples of frilled headwear can be found in the Netherlands. Every dot stands for one iconographic example.
The veils themselves didn't always change much during the years. It is rather the hairdo's that change, so that a rather different image appears.


These three sculptures from Ghent once belonged to the mantlepieces of old townhouses across the city. They all wear a frilled veil and a crown-like thingy underneath it. The women on the first and last pic are wearing their hair loose, the middle one wears it in short braids. I have only seen these in the Ghent-region and not anywhere else. So they might be a very local fashion.

Has anyone ever seen anything like these crown-like things before? They seem to be made from semi-circular rosette like pieces is some kind of metal. They might be completely circular and then partly covered by the veil so that what you see is only part of the crown.
I'm anxious to know wether anyone of you has ever seen these from other places than Ghent en if you have maybe come accross archaeological finds of metal jewelry that resemble the crowns on these sculptures.

In the mean time I'm preparing a small lecture about frilled headwear for the LHO (a medieval reenactment society) on Saturday. It will be a good excercise in preparation of my thesis defendance in June.
I'm still writing crazy, so many pages still have to be put on paper before mid May!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Found in Alva's Ditch - Exhibition

From March 6 to Agust 9 2009 there is an exhibition at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen with 16th century textile finds from the socalled Alva's Ditch in Groningen, unearthed during excavations in 1996 and 2000.

In 2007 Hanna Zimmerman finished het Phd. on this subject. Her dissertation resulted in the book 'Textiel in Context' which sure is something you have to read (it is in Dutch though).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Visiting the Belgian Royal Library

Last week I was in Brussels, Belgium, and I visited the Belgian Royal Library:


The “manuscript room” was really interesting! They've got a very nice collection of research literature on medieval manuscripts, books, literature, illuminations etc. But the most amazing thing is that the library has also got a collection of medieval manuscripts that you might actually consult in the reading room. You have to search the catalogs to find the manuscript and then you can order it for reading. For really valuable manuscripts, you have to have permission of the Head of the Manuscript Room. I haven't tried it yet, but while I was there, I saw people leafing through illuminated manuscripts that you normally only see behind glass in a museum. There are also files of black-and- white photocopies of illuminations in specific manuscripts, so you can see which manuscripts might be interesting.

A visitor pass for a day is 2, 50 euro and for a week 5 euro.
The Royal Library is very close to Brussels Central Station and it's really worth a visit when you're in the neighborhood.


Just some random things about today:

  • I treated myself to a membership of the British Costume Society.
  • I found out this lovely Finnish blog now also has English summaries.
  • I have been wondering about the history of lace, but I couldn't find a book about it in the uni library.

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