Feb 9, 2005
Feb 9, 2005
Jun 16, 2020

Forehead Cloth

Forehead Cloth

late 1500s

Silk, gold and silver thread, sequins, padding, linen; embroidery

Overall: 16.8 x 38.7 cm (6 5/8 x 15 1/4 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1934.231



Sumptuous interlacing scrolls bearing flora and fruit embroidered with gold, silver, and silk thread decorate this set composed of a coif (cap see 1934.206) and forehead cloth (seen here). Individual motifs representing England appear within the scrolls, such as the Tudor rose, carnation, honeysuckle, and acorn.

Fashionable ladies wore coifs in the house as semiformal dress and in bed for receiving guests. The large loops along its lower edge were drawn together to keep it in place. Worn pointing backward, the forehead cloth functioned like a visor, supposedly preventing wrinkles and keeping off the sun and cold air.

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