Bess Throckmorton


This image is a good one for introducing the grotesque wheel farthingale. Her Wikipedia article is here.

This image is essentially untraceable.

This is shown as a good example of the incredible wheel or drum farthingale of the late sixteenth century. Her girdle and bodice don't work very well with it. Ashelford describes the wheel farthingale on p. 35 in The Art of Dress, "The structure carried the skirt out to right angles from the waist to a width varying from 8 to 48-inches before falling vertically to the ground. To avoid the hard line made by the rim of the wheel farthingale, the skirt was given a circular frill or flounce, the pleats of which radiated out from the center to the edge of the rim. The whole skirt was then tilted at the waist so that the hem was raised at the back and lowered in the front. Wearing the farthingale at this angled allowed the wearer to rest her hands on the ledge-like surface of the flounce..."

In this case the bottom of her bodice is half- or more of her height.

While her gown may have a square or bateau neckline, the ruff starts from behind the neck and spreads to both corners of the square neckline, leaving a truncated triangle of bare skin below the neck. Ruffs like this were fashionable at this time.

Keywords:  Bess Throckmorton, Lady-in-waiting, English, wheel farthingale, straight coiffure, square neckline, neckline ruff, lace, jeweled headdress, framing headdress, necklace, girdle, jeweled pendant, tapering puffed sleeves, cuffs, brooch, bracelets, tabbed bodice, puffed cloth ornaments, fan

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