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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0316  Monday, 17 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Thomas Larque <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 16:59:50 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

[2] 	From: 	Thomas Larque <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 19:13:18 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

[3] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 21:19:30 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Thomas Larque <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 16:59:50 +0100
Subject: 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

 >Martin Droeshoutor Ben Jonson would allow that kind of nobleman's
 >ruff to be worn by the Bard.

Call me suspicious, but why do I feel that the concept of a "nobleman's 
ruff" that was completely different from an ordinary ruff, and not 
allowed to be worn by commoners, is an anti-Stratfordian fantasy?  The 
picture of Edward Alleyn's ruff, for example, looks not unlike various 
"noblemen's ruffs", for the reason - I imagine - that one ruff looked 
pretty much like another.

Elizabethan sumptuary laws banned the wearing of a double ruff, and 
insisted that the single ruff should be "used in a due and mean sort, as 
was orderly and comely used before the coming in of the outrageous 
double ruff", but Shakespeare's ruff seems perfectly in fitting with 
this rule, if it still applied.  There was apparently no ban on 
commoners wearing a single ruff of any particular design, but perhaps 
somebody who knows more about Elizabethan/Jacobean clothing will be able 
to comment further.

Thomas Larque

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Thomas Larque <
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 >
Date: 		Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 19:13:18 +0100
Subject: 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

I see that John Davies, poet and writing master, has a very similar ruff 
to Shakespeare's in this engraving - not identically drawn, but 
obviously based on the same ruff design. 
http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?LinkID=mp62396&rNo=0&role=sit

According to the Dictionary of National Biography, John Davies was born 
to a fairly humble background, and never studied at University, but 
married above himself after his "constant contact with the great and 
famous [... gave] Davies the social mobility that explains his marriages 
to women distinctly above him socially".  Since, as far as I recall, the 
status of a married couple in Renaissance England was based on the 
original social status of the man, this would not have advanced Davies's 
official class.

Thomas Larque

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 21:19:30 +0100
Subject: 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0310 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

Sid Lubow writes ...

 >The Duke was drawn wearing a ruff almost exactly like the ruff
 >worn by Shakespeare in the First Folio of 1623, except for the
 >encirclement of semi-elliptical frills all around the Duke's ruff.
 >I will send the picture to anyone who asks me for it through e/mail
 >if they will agree to explain why the commoner is wearing what
 >appears to be wearing a ruff very similar to that worn by the Duke,
 >to find out why Martin Droeshoutor Ben Jonson would allow that
 >kind of nobleman's ruff to be worn by the Bard.

I suspect Droeshout's source was a lost sketch by another artist dating 
from circa 1610 (WS looks about 45 in the engraving).  And as ruff 
fashion had changed between 1610 and 1623, Droeshout gave WS an 
up-to-date ruff.  This theory also explains why the poet's head doesn't 
quite fit his body.

My point is that the Duke of Buckingham's ruff is not a "nobleman's 
ruff" (whatever that might be) - it is a 1623 ruff.  In London then as 
now, there was/is no such thing as clothing for noblemen.  There was/is 
clothing for gentlemen, and WS was a landed gentleman - with a coat of 
arms and brand new church memorial to prove it.

Peter Bridgman

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