When they are veyl’d on purpose to be seene

11 Oct

Scold’s Bridle

Inspiration used in Fashion today:

“plain metal cage fitting tightly round a person’s head with metal gag protruding inside”

“One does not see these fans in action, but numerous contemporary texts imply that they were used to cover the remaining part of the naked face”

” a black half mask, covering the upper half of the face, was a common winter accessory worn by well-to-do women in London”

Masks were worn, non-masquerade, by women in the seventeenth and eighteenth century in London. At first when you wore a mask it was to conceal a person’s identity and would make you a stranger. No one wanted to be a stranger because in the post-modern context it wasn’t a good thing to be a stranger. When women were punished they had to wear the ‘scold’. The scold bridle was a mask of plain metal cage that is fitted tightly around a person’s head with a metal gag protruding inside. Women had to wear this on her head and it caused great attention that everyone in the village knew she was being punished. The population grew in London that it was normal to be strangers. During the first half of the 17th century the half black mask was known. It covered the upper half of the face and was common in the winter. Fans were also common accessories in the winter. The fans were not used in action but were used to cover the remaining part of the naked face. The fan and mask have a relationship together because they both protect the face. The masks were worn to help not to make eye-to-eye contact with others. One of the main reasons to wear the winter mask was to help protect the delicate skin of the face from the cold. It also played the role of disguise. It helped hide facial expressions but affects communication.  Masks would catch attention; they wear the mask on purpose to be seen.

Reading a doing a little research was interesting of how the meaning of the mask changed over time. How at first it was a punishment, to protection of the skin and then to women wearing them purposely to attract attention to themselves. It was a good history knowledge.

Link: http://www.fashioningtheearlymodern.ac.uk/object-in-focus/visard-mask/

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One Response to “When they are veyl’d on purpose to be seene”

  1. Prof Lung October 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    yes it is.

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