The Heart Shaped Hennin C. 1405 - 1470
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
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
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.
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