About This Artwork


Man's Cap, 1575/1600

Linen, plain weave; embroidered with silk, gilt-strip-wrapped silk, and metal paillettes in ladder and stem stitches; couching and buttonholed couching; edged with bobbin lace
18 x 19 cm (7 x 7 1/2 in.)

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne, 1931.261

Nightcaps for men and their counterparts, coifs for women, were long-lived fashion, from about 1580 until 1650. With their heavy encrustations of decoration they were obviously not intended to be worn while sleeping. For the night wear a plain, warm, knitted woolen "biggin" was used. Like the woman's cap, the man's nightcap was meant for indoor wear during social hours at home. Persons of rank or professional men sat for their portraits in them.

Interpretive Resources

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