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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Scarlet Cloth Costume
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0538  Thursday, 25 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Catherine Loomis <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Mar 1999 11:04:16 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Mar 1999 12:57:47 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Catherine Loomis <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Mar 1999 11:04:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume

> I'd like to ask for some help from the list members.  I'm trying to
> construct an authentic as possible of the scarlet cloth costume that
> Shakespeare would have worn for the 1603 coronation of King James.  Can
> anyone point me to contemporary paintings, drawings, designs,
> descriptions etc. that would help me come up with enough to do a good
> pattern for all the pieces?
>
> Joe Conlon, Warsaw, IN, USA

There is a watercolor of Elizabeth's funeral procession in the British
Library; part of it is reproduced in the Riverside Shakespeare (Plate
7).  I don't have the manuscript mark.  Although these are funeral
robes, they are processional and are shown from various angles.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Mar 1999 12:57:47 -0500
Subject: 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0529 Scarlet Cloth Costume

>Can anyone point me to contemporary paintings, drawings, designs,
>descriptions etc. that would help me come up with enough to do a good
>pattern for all the pieces?

Joe Conlon asks a tricky question.  From assorted late C16 and early C17
engravings, paintings, and drawings we can get a sense of the clothes
that servants (Shakespeare's putative role on this occasion) wore, and
there are various more or less reliable books on early modern English
costume to which Joe Conlon could go for help.  But the culture's iconic
sense of costume meant that on special occasions an element of the
fanciful or allegorical or historical might enter the process.  Hence
there's no way to know what the King's Men wore on the occasion.  The
closest visual analogues I can think of are these:

1.  Thomas Lant's engraving of the funeral procession of Sir Philip
Sidney (1586).
2.  The illustrations of John Derricke's *Image of Ireland* (1581),
which include representations of several public ceremonies.
3.  The funeral portrait of Sir Henry Unton (c. 1596), another funeral
procession, but also a party or two.
4.  Robert Peake's (?) picture of Elizabeth carried in procession (c.
1601), especially the row of men lining the processional route, though
details are hard to see--probably the best single source.
5.  Inigo Jones' designs for masques, full of suggestions about iconic
costume, though mostly a decade or more later than this event.

Items 1 and 2 can be seen in libraries that have the works listed in the
Short Title Catalogue in xerox or microform-it does not appear to me
that either Notre Dame or Purdue has these, though you can look at a C19
facsimile of the Derricke at ND.  3 and 4 are both widely reproduced,
but Roy Strong's Cult of Elizabeth has extensive analyses of both
paintings with illustrations that include details, and I'd look at them
in that book if you can get at it.  The surviving Jones drawings are
assembled in Steven Orgel and Roy Strong, *Inigo Jones: the Theatre of
the Stuart Court.*

Hope this helps.

David Evett
 

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