Dressing Renaissance Florence

By

If ever a book could be compared to a box of chocolates, this is it. Setting out to harness the specifics – How many clothes did people own? What did clothing cost? – Frick includes in her spectrum a wide range of 15th-century Florentines, from prosperous textile merchants to female vendors working outside the guilds, selling notions and accessories. It comes complete with a map detailing the location of various guild residences; tables (fur pelts for lining and sleeves); appendices (currency and measures, cloth required for selected garments, in colors like “Apollo’s hair” and “throat of the dove”); a glossary (puzzole is “the dark brown fur of the polecat, which had a purplish gloss to it, used to trim cloaks and overgowns”), and perhaps the handiest index I’ve ever had the pleasure to use (boys {see also clothing, worn by: children}).

One quibble: the cover, depicting as it does a 16th-century tailor, is misleading, since the book’s text centers for the most part on the 1400s. Readers interested in the latter period might, therefore, pass over this excellent resource as I did, several times, before taking the time to explore it.

Share this review

Now available in paperback (UK) or on Kindle

Jenny Barden's masterful novel about the lost colony of Roanoke.

Details

Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Price
(US) $25.00

ISBN
(US) 0801882648

Format
Paperback

Pages
368

Review

Appeared in

Reviewed by