Between the Medieval and The Modern

August 6, 2017

CoBloWriMo Day 3 – Extant Garment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frau Magda @ 3:34 pm
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Ah, extant clothing. Doesn’t everyone have an extant clothing board on Pinterest? No? Just me? OK then.

The Extant Garment that I’m currently drooling over (and have been for a couple of years) is the Prince Elector Moritz’s Parade Gown.

Moritz, or Maurice was Duke of Saxony, and later Elector of Saxony in the 16th century, and this rather elaborate gown belonged to him. Saxony was a state in the Holy Roman Empire (because Germany didn’t exist as a country yet). The prince-electors (or simply electors) of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire. In case you didn’t know, the Holy Roman Emperor was not an inherited title, the Emperor was elected by (in the 16th century) seven electors: three princes of the church and four secular nobility of varying stature (a King, a Count, a Duke and a Margrave)

When I first came across this gown, I could only find black and white images of it. Sadly, the German museums are way behind their English language counterparts when it comes to digitizing their collections and sharing them online.


Most of the images that I could find looked like catalog items, and antique catalog entries at that.

But luckily, the gown has recently been restored for exhibit, which means that in the past couple of years new images have appeared online for me to drool over. According to the museum site: Reportedly, the majestic yellow-and-black ensemble originally consisted of coat, doublet, breeches and nether hose.

The nearly criminological archival research and the consequent diligent preservation restored the status of the gown as an historically authentic costume.

So yay for knowing that it’s an authentic piece. During the 19th century, much like the way that there was a revival of interest in medieval and renaissance clothing and culture in England due in part to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the Germans also had a resurgence in interest in all things Landsknecht. There are 19th century landsknecht paintings, and photographs of historical costume events during what we would call the Victorian era. So there was always the possibility that this was one of those 19th century fancy dress costumes.

Just look at how beautiful this is in color.

The suit demonstrates the greatness of Elector Moritz (1521-1553) source

No kidding.

And there is a rather beautiful modern reconstruction of this gown floating around on Pinterest.


I found the (German language) dress diary for it here . And I’ve got it pinned on my Beautiful Reenactments and Recreations board.


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