ca. 1690 Lady, half length, in a mantua gown and a lace frelange headdress by ? (auctioned by Sotheby's)

This is the Wikipedia article for the headdress:  "A fontange, or frelange, is a high headdress popular during the turn of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in Europe. Technically, fontanges are only part of the assembly, referring to the ribbon bows which support the frelange. The frelange was supported by a wire framework called a commode. A surviving example of a frelange headdress with fontanges and commode in situ is that worn by the 1690s fashion doll Lady Clapham. In England, the style was popularly known as a 'top-knot', versions of which were worn by ladies of all ranks, from the Queen downwards to kitchen maids, making it an easy target for satire and criticism.

The fontange is said to be named for the Marquise de Fontange, a mistress of King Louis XIV of France. One version of the story is that after losing her cap while hunting with the King, the Marquise tied her hair up using a ribbon in a manner that pleased him, and this was imitated by the other ladies at court, subsequently spreading across Europe. What started out as a simple headdress of folded ribbon in the 1680s became, with additional fabric, lace and trimmings, taller and more complex, increasingly difficult to create and wear. Despite its courtly origins, fontanges were forbidden to be worn at French state occasions, although the English court accepted them, with Queen Mary having her portrait painted wearing one.

The term "fontange" is also used by some writers to refer to the associated hairstyle or the combination of headdress and hairstyle. The 'fontange coiffure' was a hairstyle where the front of the hair was worn curled and piled high above the forehead in front of the frelange, which was always higher than the hair. Sometimes the hairstyle was supported by a wire framework called a pallisade.”

The Web site beautyglimpse has this about the disadvantages of the fontanges headdress, "If created properly, the fontange looks immensely beautiful on women. But there are a number of disadvantages of this hairstyle, which make it a fail. The extreme height is the biggest drawback of this old-fashioned hairdo. The elevation makes it tough for women to balance the style on their heads. Preparing the hair for wearing a fontange is also quite cumbersome. You have to apply the white portions of eggs to your locks for several weeks in order to make it stiff. As you can’t wash your hair during this phase, your hair will start to smell terribly. You have to use lots of spray perfumes so that people do not understand the ‘messy’ secret of your unique hairdo. Above all, one needs to sit all the night for keeping the hairstyle intact. All these features of fontange made women frustrated and the style (slowly) became out of fashion.” As I have posted to this Web site, I have thought by however much the eyes were overwhelmed by the beauty and splendor of these dresses, the nose was also being overwhelmed.

From the Sotheby’s Web site; size adjusted to 72 cm high at 60 pixels/cm.

ca. 1690 Lady, half length, in a mantua gown and a lace frelange headdress by ? (auctioned by Sotheby's) size adjusted to 72 cm high at 60 pixels/cm

This shows a fontanges headdress with a tiered lace and ribbon riser with colorful ribbons, hair jewelry, and lace lappets. The coiffure has wispy fripon curls.

Keywords:  1690, curly coiffure, lace fontanges headdress, hair jewelry, lace lappets, earrings, necklace, necklace, chemise, modesty piece, square neckline, ribbon bodice ornament, yjree quarter length under-sleeves, lace cuffs, bracelets, fitted bodice, stomacher, brooch, elbow length sleeves, ribbon sleeve ornaments, belt, shallow vee waistline, mantua, close skirt

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