Monday 28 September 2015

Fontange caps

High on my wish list is a 1690-1710 mantilla and with that I would need a fontange cap. This rather absurd cap fashion became popular during the 1680’s and remained popular until the 1710’s, or so. It was usually paired with a high hairstyle, confusingly enough usually called a fontange hairstyle. To be technical the fontange was the ribbons on the cap, the high pleated frill was called a frelange. As it rose higher and higher it was supported by a wire construction called commode.

The only extant fontange cap, as far as i know, is actually worn by a doll, known as Lady Clapham. V&A describes it like this:

Circular doll's cap consisting of the cap, wire and ribbon. The cap is made of spotted lawn edged in English bobbin lace which falls into two lappets on either side of the face. It has a graduated double frill ('Monte la haut'), a narrower frill in front and a taller frill behind. The frill is supported by a wire covered in muslin formed in a semi-circle with eight radiating spokes graduating to the highest in the centre. The cap is circled with pink silk taffeta ribbon which is twisted about the cap, and is tied in two bows and lined with brown silk. The ribbon is padded in between and sewn to a cotton band which forms a base to attach to the doll's head. The cap is secured by a linen cord drawn through the back breadth.

Victoria & Albert
Unfortunately no one seems to have made a proper pattern.
If you look at art, the standing frill seems to have been done rather differently. 
Anne de Souvré, marquise de Louvois by Simon Dequoy, 1695

16Mme Roig, née Theresa Gazanyola, unknown artist, 1699

María Luisa Gabriela de Saboya by Miguel Jacinto Meléndez, 1712-1714

Unknown widow, ca 1690

Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg by Godfried Schalcken, 1690 
Go to the web page to be able to zoom in.

Marchioness Angela Maria Lombardi, unknown artist, ca 1710

Recueil des modes de la cour de France, 'Femme de qualité, en d'Eshabillé d'Esté' by Nicholas Arnout, 1687
I’m making a modified version of two layers of fine white linen and lace made by my grandmother.

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