Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Early Gable Headdress C.1485 - 1520

Sage Green Linen Coif with Passement on the edge with Stiffened Black Linen Veil By the late 15th Century the Coif, worn with the Early Gable, was exactly the same shape as that of the "Jewelled or Passement Coif" which had been worn since 1450. It too was jewelled around its edge and was worn extensively by the English, French, Spanish, Italian and Flemish Ladies.

It was made from various "Rich and Costly materials" Gold, Silver and an array of Jewels with Pearls or drop ornaments, frequently used to decorate along its edge to frame the face. These jewelled edges were called "Passement."

These Coifs’ claim a kinship with the network caps worn in Italy during the period of the Renaissance. The Italians designed many fine examples of these fine Jewelled Coifs.’ Beatrice d’ Este can be seen wearing one such Coif with pearls along the edge. Princess Katherine, of the Spanish Court, is described as wearing "on her head a cap of Cloth of Gold, covering the ears in the Venetian fashion."

During the late Medieval Period, then the early Tudor Period approx.1490, the Coif was worn with a Black Linen or Velvet Band or Veil on top of it, (a transition of the mid C15th Hennin with the Black Lappet) sometimes embroidered and mostly pointed to suggest a "Gable Hood." No hair was visible in most cases, but a "V" loop of Black Velvet was sometimes worn to lie on the forehead. One such Style can be seen on a Noble Woman in an Illuminated M.S. dating 1490.

Another chic style of this Coif can be seen from the M.S. "Le Livre des Cleves et Noble Femmes." It is of a woman spinning. She is wearing a close fitted coif, with a heavily starched or stiffened Black veil perched on her head.

The Passement Coif was never worn on its own. It was always with some other head dressing, like a Black Linen or Velvet Veil or Band, giving its Gable like appearance. A Bonnet or Flat Cap was worn with the Passement Coif on the Continent, especially in Italy and Germany.

Front of headdress reproduced from Le Livres des Cleves et Nobles Femmes Copy of source from Le Livres des Cleves et Nobles Femmes Sage Green Linen Coif with Passement on the edge with Stiffened Black Linen Veil


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