1500 Stitches: diverse arts of Margaret Wolseley

English Noblewoman's Dress in 1500

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Documenting Dress during the Reign of Elizabeth of York, 1486 to 1503

Objective: to collect information about the clothing, especially the bonnets, typically worn by noblewomen during the reign of Elizabeth of York, Henry VII's queen and mother to Henry VIII.

Possible Information Sources: Extant items of clothing and accessories

I have not discovered references to any extant clothing textiles from English women of this period. Caroline Johnson writes that "no surviving female garments of English origin are known at present which reliably date to [1485-1520]." p7

This brass wire frame (Museum of London collection) for stiffening a peaked bonnet is an excellent clue to understanding the foundations of the gable headdress.

The Museum of London also has multiple leather shoes circa 1500 on display, although I only see this one online.

I need to find references (assuming some exist) for extant specimens of the belt hardware seen in so many brass rubbings. There is a little jewelry remaining from the time, and pins for holding gowns closed, but most other details of costume must be gleaned from secondary sources such as artwork.