Sporting Dress 1545-1635

£5.00

History of Costume III 1500-1660

Availability: In stock

Sport became popular in the 16th century, royalty often leading. Clothes became looser and more comfortable. Paris could boast more tennis courts than London. Football was played by apprentices in the City of London with as many a side as liked. Hockey was a more ancient game perhaps introduced by the Romans. The apprentice wears an easy-fitting jerkin with full skirts over a high-necked doublet or shirt and long hose which reached to the waist. The ankle boots may have been of woven material but certainly had leather soles, with square toes. The bonnet caps of leather or felt were characteristic of Tudor clothing with pancake crowns and turned-up brims sometimes with slits at each side. The art of falconry lay in training the hawk. The sport arrived from the east. Saxons and Normans enjoyed hawking, but falconry arrived later. Henry VIII was enthusiastic and had a handsome falconer, Robert Cheseman, and bird painted by Holbein. Queen Elizabeth enjoyed sport, riding to the end of her life and pulling a sure bow. Her hat was masculine with high, gathered crown, trimmed with feather tips. Men dressed for hawking with stuffed upper-stocks over fitting canions and real stockings drawn up over the knee. These were gathered up with decorative bows while garters held the stockings firmly under the knee. As the century ended the waistline rose, was less restricted and was finished by overlapping tabs that developed from piccadils to become a typical costume detail of the 17th century. The short, full sleeved jerkin worn since early in the century continued as a cape with the sleeves dangling. They became shorter as breeches rose higher up the thigh, and lost the sleeves so were slung rakishly over one shoulder, half across the chest or with the wide collar framing the ruff. Men started to leave hair longer as costume became less rigid. Gloves were essential for hawking and became fashionable for ordinary wear, with embroidered backs and shaped gauntlets. Queen Elizabeth was so taken with a present of embroidered doeskin gloves she carried them for a State portrait. Golf (het kolven) was played in the Netherlands in the 15th century. It was said to have been a game Mary Queen of Scots brought from France. It spread rapidly and became the national game in Scotland long before it was played in England. It was an odd game for such young children to play, seeing (in so many Dutch pictures) that they all had real clubs and large balls. This small boy wears a feminine skirt, but his doublet is of a male grown­up. Dutch women would still have worn a heavily embroidered and protruding stomacher. The tabs of his doublet have grown long and the skirt is attached by bows. The collar turns down to match the cuffs. Tennis was the sport of kings. Henry VIII wagered heavily on his skill, only to find French royalty and nobles nimbler. The game was played indoors or in courtyard. Every palace or great house included a court of some kind. The tennis-player wears the loose breeches developed out of canions; the full upper-stock is lengthened until the canions are discarded, presenting a more compact appearance. The ruff was still worn but supported by a stiff piccadil to make it stand up. The heavy dagger shows gentlemen were privileged to wear arms so there is no significance in retaining it while playing a game.

Dimensions 38.1 × 25.5 cm