Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elizabethan Visard Mask

This silk and velvet mask is one of the few surviving examples of a visard or invisard mask, which Elizabethan gentry wore for some fancy dress occasions:
When they use to ride abrod, they have invisories, or masks, visors made of velvet, wherwith they cover all their faces, having holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they look. So that if a man, that knew not their guise before, should chaunce to meet one of them, he would think hee met a monster or a devil; for face hee can see none, but two brode holes against her eyes with glasses in them.
They were generally "held in the Teeth by means of a round bead fastned on the inside over against the mouth." This example was found in a wall at Daventry Hall in Northamptonshire.

No comments: