Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Bycocket C.1310 - 1450

Red and Black Velvet Bycocket with Pheasant Feathers At the beginning of the 14th Century the Bycocket (or Byecocket, "chapeau bec") came into fashion and was worn by men and women when riding or hawking. It consisted of a hat (similar to a "Robin  Hood"  Hat) with a tall crown that had an upturned brim, which projected out sharply at the front into a point.

Frequently the peak and crown were heavily ornamented with embroidery and spangles (an old Goldwork term for sequins, which has been documented as far back as Ancient Egypt!). These spangles were "adopted as an English Fashion" during the 13th and 14th Centuries and not only adorned hats and headdresses of the period, but the clothing of both sexes too.

One Italian Lady in a MS c.1310 shows her riding with her hawk on her wrist, her side braids turned up under her Bycocket, which is embroidered in a symmetrical pattern and a single jewel at the front of her hat, above the peak.

Another image of a Noble Woman wearing a Bycocket is from an ivory mirror case in the (V & A) Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Under her Bycocket is a simple veil and her hair flows freely beneath.

By the mid to the latter half of the 14th Century, the Bycocket was still the favoured Hat to be worn by both sexes while hawking, but it became much more exaggerated. The crown would be oversized and elaborately decorated. One such Bycocket is shown in a MS to be encrusted in real or embroidered Peacock Feathers, with fur on its upturned brim, while streamers fly backwards from it.

While another image from a metal worked design, shows an Italian mans Bycocket which fashions a split brim over the ear. Froissart himself mentions that Beaver Fur and Ostrich Feathers were in use for larger forms of Bycockets.

By the 15th century, the Bycocket went completely out of fashion in England , France and Spain , but it was still worn in the Netherlands by prosperous Merchants, Masters of the Guilds in the Low Countries and by Noble Lords as far away as Hungary .

C14th Italian Hunting Hat in Light and Dark Blue Velvet with Wimple and Veil C15th Hungarian Hunting Hat in Peacock Blue two tone/shot Brocade and Green Velvet with Peacock Feathers and Tassel (Nemes Mihaly, p.69) Sage Green and Tan Velvet Bycocket with Wimple and Veil Cream and Green Brocade Italian Style Bycocket with Pheasant Feathers Red and Black Velvet Bycocket with Pheasant Feathers Red Silk and Grey Velvet Bycocket with Wimple in the Italian Style Green and Blue Velvet Bycocket with Pheasant Feathers Red and Black Velvet Bycocket with Peacock Feathers

 

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