de nieuwe snede

the new cut – 16th century material culture in the low countries

Here’s a list of books and scholarly articles and websites I’ve found to be useful in pulling together my understanding of Antwerpen and Netherlandish history. They don’t all relate to the Low Countries specifically, but some do touch on them. I’ve tried to make notes on their usefulness, but everyone will get something different from these texts.

Art and Art History
Because so much of my basis for my interpretation of Antwerpen market dresses comes from paintings, I found understanding the art history to be a valuable way to spend my time.

Bruegel and the Culture of the Early Modern Dinner Party by Claudia Goldstein
Should I go completely off my rocker and ever do a small by invitation only 16th century dinner, this is the book I will use the most.


“The Farnese family collected Flemish paintings on a large scale, displaying many of them – including at least seven of Beuckelaer’s market scenes – in their Palazzo del Giardino in Parma. . .  As numerous scholars. . . have noted, Vincenzo Campi was likely given access to the paintings at some point before he began creating his own similar, but not identical, market scenes.” (Goldstein, 145).

I don’t know why it tickles me that Campi is derivative of Beuckelaer, but it does.

Also, I’ve learned that one of the reasons Bruegel, Beuckelaer, and Aertsen feature so many allegorical scenes is so the humanists can talk about them at the dinner table and have witty conversation.

Great overview of jugs and spoons.

The works cited list is amazing and has led me to track down more books, including a translation of Juan Luis Vives’ book about women’s conduct. I’m not giving that one it’s own mention because while he lived in the Low Countries, he did not write it while there. Here’s a preview on Google Books.

Peasant Scenes and Landscapes: The Rise of Pictorial Genres in the Antwerp Art Market by Larry Silver
This can be had rather inexpensively, and I found it to be worth it for difficult to find woodcuts by Antwerpen artists. The text is rather dry, but the chapters dealing with kitchens and markets and Antwerp as a cultural system are worth reading.

Painting and the Market in Early Modern Antwerp by Elizabeth Alice Honig
This is the first book about art history I ever purchased. I’m pretty sure I bought it because of the color plates, only reading the text much later. I don’t know that I’d say this is a must buy now, but if you have the money and the inclination you could. Focusing much more on the market for painters versus the market scenes.

Netherlandish Art in the Rijksmuseum 1400-1600
When I lived in Germany and went to Amsterdamn for a weekend, the museum was basically closed for renovation. I have not had a chance to go back, but this is absolutely valuable if you’d like to get past the color shift of monitors.

Pride and Joy: Children’s Portraits in the Netherlands, 1500-1700 by Jan Baptist Bedaux
Pretty interesting overview of family portraiture and child portraiture, great for the plates of the adults and families.

Because of the nature of the SCA as a historical organization, understanding the history of the people wearing the clothing, for me, a must. While I can’t recite the dates off the top of my head and I find I have to consult what I’ve previously written often – there’s only so much room in my head, knowing what was generally going on in the Netherlands, specifically Antwerp, is worthwhile.

History of the Dutch Speaking Peoples 1555-1648 by Pieter Geyl
The first text I bought dealing with Netherlandish history. Because it can be rather inexpensive, I think it is worth buying for a deeper dive.

Holland Under Hapsburg Rule, 1506-1566: The Formation of a Body Politic by James. D Tracy
Available online here. If you can stand reading on a website, you should read this! It’s free!

Textiles and Material Culture
Textiel in Context by Hanna Zimmerman
Available online from The Tudor Tailor’s Etsy shop, here. If you have the money, the English summary and images make this a worthy purchase. Also, several articles that mirror content in the book are available through ILL. They are

  • Zimmerman, J.A., 2003: Children’s Clothes from the 16th century. In: J.P. Wild (ed.), Archaeological Textiles Newsletter no. 36, Manchester, 2-8.
  • Zimmerman, J.A., 2005 a: Sixteenth century children’s clothing: The reconstruction of a pair of breeches and a doublet, in: J.P. Wild (ed.), Archaeological Textiles Newsletter no. 38, Manchester, 2-10.
  • Zimmerman, J.A., 2004 b: Sixteenth-century hose and their manufacture, in: J. Maik (ed.), NESAT VIII Priceless Invention of Humanity – Textiles, Lodz, 159-166.
  • Zimmerman, J.A., 2007: Sixteenth century appliques, in: A. Rast-Eicher & R. Windler (eds.) NESAT IX Archaeologische Textilfunde – Archaeological Textiles, Ennenda 181-185.

Huisraad van een molenaarsweduwe: Gebruiksvoorwerpen uit een 16de-eeuwse boedelinventaris
This is an out of print, Dutch language jackpot. My translation of Maritgen’s inventory came from this text. While the English translation is limited to a paragraph or two for each chapter, the images of housewares make this book worthwhile.

Entrepreneurs in the Guilds: Ready-to-Wear Clothing and Subcontracting in late Sixteenth- and early Seventeenth Century Antwerp by Harald Deceulaer
This article is available in Textile History Volume 31 (2000), pages 133-149. Deceulaer discusses the Antwerp ell, the cost of ready to wear clothing in the Netherlands, and the ready to wear market in the Netherlands.

The Medieval Broadcloth: Changing Trends in Fashions, Manufacturing and Consumption by Katherine Vestergard Pedersen
I was primarily interested in the first article in this book, Three Centuries of Luxury Textile Consumption in the Low Countries and England, 1330– 1570: Trends and Comparisons of Real Values of Woollen Broadcloths (Then and Now) by John Munro so I purchased the Kindle edition which, because of the tables comparing the cost of woollen to the day’s wages of a master mason, is actually better to read on a computer. If you’re very interested in cost analysis or understanding the wool industry, this is worth investing in.

Een archiefstuk uit 1550 – De nalatenschap van Jan Douwes, kleermaker te Leeuwarden by Betty Rozema-Fruehnicht and Gieneke Arnolli
Available in a journal titled Kostuum 2006 from pages 5-20 this article is an overview of a tailor’s account books, his probabte inventory, and clothing and textile terms. I’ve begun translating the sections pertinent to the clothing vocabulary. I’ll eventually host my translation here. This is absolutely worth getting if you have a reading knowledge of Dutch.

Mode-Metamorphosen, de kledij onzer voorouders in de zestiende eeuw by J.H. Derkinderen-Besier
This book is often referenced in contemporary articles about textiles and clothing in the Low Countries. Written in 1933 it features line drawings reminiscent of Norris. I have not had a lot of time to really dig into this text yet. If you do not read Dutch and are just in it for the visual representation, pass on this one as it is up there with Textiler Hausrat, a book about clothing in Nuremberg, in price.

Honderden Van hand tot hand: handschoenen en wanten in de Nederlanden voor 1700 by Annemarieke Willemson
Currently available in Dutch only, and amaaaaaaaaazing if you need to make gloves or mittens. You can purchase it via The Tudor Tailor on etsy.

Medieval Chic in Metal: Decorative Mounts on Belts and Purses from the Low Countries, 1300 – 1600 by Annemarieke Willemson
Another in the Hundred series, this book is available in English on Amazon. You can get a very short preview through Google Arts and Culture.

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