Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Heart Shaped Hennin C. 1405 - 1470

c.1405 Early Fine Black Wool Heart Shaped Hennin, with Silver and White Pearls and a Fine White Linen Veil The "Heart Shaped Hennin" started life as the "Crispinette" from the reign of Richard II. From the Crispinette it developed into the "Cross Tree Headdress". As the Cross Tree Headdress was very wide and was considered "Ugly and Unbecoming" by some, another headdress developed at the same time. This was the "Heart Shaped Hennin".

It still had the golden fretwork, the "Caul" confining the hair on either side of the face, but no longer had the fillet over the cauls. It had a padded roll instead. This echoed the silhouette of the Cross Tree Headdress at first, width being the dominant feature.

Gradually the padded roll started to extend upwards as did the wires of the Cross Tree Headdress. Both headdresses were often referred to as the "Cow Headdress" because of the resemblance to cows horns. A holy Bishop preached from the pulpit about fashionable women resembling "Horned Snails" and that women were "Abusing their crowning glory by covering their hair". A perfect example of this style of headdress can be seen in a carved miserecorde at Ludlow Church, Shropshire.

As the outer edges of the padded roll extended upwards, the middle of the padded roll descended into a dip at the centre of the forehead and was made from coloured silks, velvets or linen. It became encrusted in jewels, pearls and plaques of enamels. Over these were draped semi-circular or square veils all of which were hemmed with "rich stuff". Lady Joyce Halsham, 1441, in West Grinstead Church, Sussex,, Lady Vernon, 1450, in Tong Church, Shropshire and Lady Staunton 1458 in Castle Donnington Church, Leicestershire are all effigies wearing this style of headdress. Other examples of the "Heart Shaped Hennin" can be seen on women in the "Tres Riches Heures- Duc De Berry" Book of Hours.

In 1440 the top edges of the padded roll of the "Heart Shaped Hennin" were drawn closer together still, producing yet another style of headdress called the "Forked Headdress". A Long "Tippet" or "Streamer" type veil was attached at the back or side of it.

The Heart Shaped Hennin continued to be used by upper and middle classes throughout this period in time but discarded it completely after 1470.

Purple and gold heart shaped hennin with veil Burgundy silk heart shaped hennin with veil Blue Dupion Silk Heart Shaped Hennin, trimmed in Gold with Cream Moiré Leaves Burgundy and gold silk heart shaped hennin Pale Green Velvet and Gold Brocade Heart Shaped Hennin, with Peridot Jewels and Pearls Dark Gold Silk and Cream Brocade Heart Shaped Hennin, Embroidered in Goldwork and Encrusted with Jewels and Pearls Burgundy Velvet Heart Shaped Hennin, with Goldwork Embroidery on Cream Brocade, with Jewels and Pearls Light Gold Silk and Gold Brocade Heart Shaped Hennin, with Amber Jewels and Pearls Purple Velvet and White Brocade (Flecked with Gold) Heart Shaped Hennin, with Purple Jewels and White and Gold Pearls Peacock Blue/Green with Red Brocade Heart Shaped Hennin with Veil c.1405 Early Fine Black Wool Heart Shaped Hennin, with Silver and White Pearls and a Fine White Linen Veil Burgundy Linen Heart Shaped Hennin with Pearls and Gold Braid Burgundy Velvet and Blue Silk Heart Shaped Hennin, with Cream Pearls and Red Jewels and a Cream Veil. Blue Silk Dagging finishes the look based on a Tapestry showing Heart Shaped Hennin with dagging c.1450-55 Green Silk and White and Gold Embroidered Silk Heart Shaped Hennin with Gold content beads, Gold Content Spangles and Green Swarovski Crystals (Photographed by Brian Skilton with kind permission)


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