Projects I am currently working on

A Translation Project: The Inventory of the Wardrobe of Lucrezia Borgia

April 23, 2007

With many thanks to Katherine Barich who has passed on to me a facsimile copy of La Guardaroba di Lucrezia Borgia and very generously allowed me to attempt a translation of it. At first I hoped to be able to have it webbed within a couple of months, but now I can see that I am far too busy to devote as much time to this project as I would like. It will therefore most likely take me several years.

Completed: Transcription Project:
Florio's Italian/English Dictionary of 1598

(Revised November 22, 2004)

Having found Florios's Italian/English dictionary I couldn't put it down. Yes, I do have a life, but what can I say, I'm a lover of words! Italian particularly interests me, period Italian especially. The potential for finding costuming and accessories related word-clues was too promising to pass up. So, I am currently transcribing this 462 page dictionary, which will take me quite some time, but which I hope will prove an invaluable resource. The plan is to transcribe and web all the costume, costume accessory, and textile-related words in the dictionary, to be followed by the rest of the entries, probably a specific category at a time, and to make it available likewise, a bit at a time. Currently I'm up to the E words. Wish me luck!

November 22, 2004: Well, it's been over a year, and still nothing is webbed, but that's because I've gone and changed my mind, haven't I? I will be webbing all the words relating to costume, costume accessories, and textiles, not just webbing them a bit at a time. I'm currently up to page 353 of the dictionary - the second half of the S section. Shouldn't be too much longer now, hopefully I'll have it all webbed by the end of the year.

December 12, 2004: The Glossary of Sixteenth Century Italian Words Relating to Costume is finished. It's 1,475 entries long, and has spawned two smaller, more specific, glossaries - one for colour names and one for textile names.

Completed: Venetian Hair, Cosmetics and Accessories
(revised October 10, 2003)

Well, as some of you know, because of bandwidth problems and due to the remarkable generosity of Madeleine in providing the new webspace, I have been busy moving the website to a new home. This has meant that I have spent less time researching, especially for Venus Adorned, the new section of the site that will explore Venetian hair, cosmetics and other accessories. I shall do my best to get that online as soon as possible.

What I wanted to do was to provide an overview article on Venetian accessories, but in looking at the sheer scope of that article I decided it would be best to just write the individual articles instead. I have completed the article entitled "A Crowning Glory: Hairstyles and Headwear". More to follow.

Completed: Sixteenth Century Costume Manuscripts

A while ago I sat researching on the web and idly contemplating reading Margaret Rosenthal's The Honest Courtesan again. Whilst contemplating Rosenthal's past work, my thoughts turned to her future offerings. According to the University of Southern California, Margaret Rosenthal's current book project is "a study of sixteenth-century illustrated travel manuscripts that depict fashions, customs and scenes of everyday life in Italy from the perspective of European travellers..." I recalled that I had bookmarked an article that also mentioned these manuscripts. In the online newspaper for USC, The Chronicle, Carol Tucker states that "in her research, Rosenthal is studying two unpublished manuscripts - both illustrated 'travel albums' from the 16th century. One is located at the Doris Stein Research Center for Costumes and Textiles, based at LACMA, where Rosenthal is a visiting scholar; the other is housed at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, at Yale University. Both feature watercolour illustrations of everyday life, revealing in fine detail the costumes of the day."

So I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe, some of the images from these two unpublished manuscripts would be online, and would make great research material. At the Beinecke I found a few images, although they are all black and white. But at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, otherwise known as LACMA, I hit the jackpot! Not one, but two manuscripts depicting European dress. There ensued much eye-bulging and rabid drooling.

Jean-Jacques BoissardThe first manuscript is Habitus Varium Orbis Gentium (Costume of the Various Peoples of The World), 1581. It is by Jean-Jacques Boissard (French, 1528-98). Ink on paper with gouache, watercolour, and gold. The other manuscript is named Album Amicorum of a German Soldier, 1595, gouache on paper. No name is given for the artist, but the manuscript is listed as originating in Italy, so I presume that the "german soldier" either lived in or visited Italy. You will find these, and many other costume and textile related items, at LACMA.

Unfortunately the online collections at LACMA are within a program that makes accessing specific pages and their images impossible, but there is a quick way to find the manuscripts. After loading the online collections page, you have to first hit the "Start" button. Then click on "Simple Search" and enter the key word Habitus, making sure to check "Only Records with Images" - this will bring up 5 pages from the first manuscript, which features 51 images of costume from not only Venice and other parts of Italy, but other countries as well. Most of these images feature three figures per image - two of these feature Venetian ladies' costume.

Another simple search with the key words Album Amicorum will bring up 9 pages and 101 individual images of costume and daily life in Venice and Italy, and also costume from other countries. You can further refine your search of Album Amicorum images to just Venetian images by adding the key word Venetian to Album Amicorum, the resulting nine images will feature Venetian ladies clothing.

Happy browsing!



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2001 - 2010 Anabella Wake (Known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona) I hold copyright on all information on these pages, and on all images of clothing/costume that I have made. You are allowed to make one facsimile copy for your own use provided that this notice is included on each page. Please ask permission to copy, disseminate and/or distribute my work - I would like to know when and how you are finding this information of use.