The Halo Bonnet C.1410 - 1530
The "Halo Bonnet" was German in character,
adopted by the Italians but was worn throughout the continent in France,
Spain, Flanders and Switzerland. Originally it was a "Milanese" fashion
and found its way to France as the "Bonet à la Coquarde," to denote a
headdress coquettishly perched on one side of the head, but called the
"Halo Bonnet" as the brim suggests a
"Halo" when viewed sideways.
It was a circular, flat hat with a crown and feathers. The Tudor
"Flat Cap" and "French Cap" come from this style. It was made of velvet,
beaver, fur and other materials and had a profusion of plumes, projecting
sideways or drooping in a graceful manner over the shoulder. The colours
of the "Halo Bonnet" were blue, green,
crimson, white, and rose but usually black. It started to be worn in
Burgundy, France about 1410 and you can see early forms of this style of
headdress in "Tres Riches Heures" Duc de Berry´s Book of Hours.
The hair was never loose with this style of headdress, usually in a plait
down the centre of the back. By the late 15th century, the hair was
dressed in the fashion of being encased in a "Fretwork" (net) as a plait
or bun. This was called the
The underside of the flat brim was sometimes decorated with spangles (an
old Goldwork term for sequins), pearls, jewels and aglets. Brooches and
enamels were also favoured.
The Italians adopted the German hat and it was still in vogue in 1520
after an account, taken from the Venetian calendar. Many Ladies in the
Tudor court also favoured these hats, including Anne Boleyn. The
"Halo Bonnet" was worn by men and women and
can be seen in many illustrations from "Romance of the Rose."
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