ca. 1643 English noblewoman and noblewoman of Brabant by Wenceslaus Hollar (Museum of London - London, UK)

From Removed spots in the backgrounds of both images.

ca. 1643 English noblewoman and noblewoman of Brabant by Wenceslaus Hollar (Museum of London - London, UK) From

The pragmatic costumer’s caption for the left image:  "This wealthy lady probably hails from what is now the Duchy of Brabant in the Netherlands. Her dress is richly trimmed with lace and bands of metallic trim on her bodice. She wears a medium-sized bumroll (about 7 inches deep) and there is still enough fabric to drape onto the floor. Notice how her huge sleeves are set extremely far back on the bodice, creating a fashionably tiny back. Stays during this period were made to push the arms far back for a straight, column-like torso.” According to Wikipedia, the Brabant is mainly located in Belgium. The rosary (this is the first appearance of a rosary on this site) and lace bertha both suggest what today would be called Belgian influence.

The pragmatic costumer’s caption for the right image:  "This lady is less ostentatious than her Brabrant counterpart (she is likely a lesser noble or a modest one), but her fur muff, well-fitted bodice, and artfully drawn-back petticoat still give her an air of privilege. She wears a softer bumroll and there are fewer pleats across the back of her petticoat. We can glimpse the center-back seam of her bodice under her large, peaked collar. Her hat/cap is difficult to discern, but it is fitted over a large bun. Notice how dark it is, probably indicating it is black; however, her clothing is drawn in a lighter shade and was probably made of a more lively color with a contrasting petticoat. (Not all 17th century clothes were black.)"

The details differ, but the silhouettes are similar. The Brabant Lady’s bertha has lace, a Belgian specialty. Both carry muffs and wear head covers. The Brabant lady carries a rosary while the English lady’s bertha has an opaque top and sheer bottom.

Keywords:  1643, Hollar, Belgian, hood, fitted bodice, lace-trimmed collar, high neckline, long puffed sleeves, back-flared cuffs, rosary, full skirt, muff

British, cap, fitted bodice, collar, high neckline, close sleeves, fur muff, draped over-skirt, close under-skirt

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