Bocksten Cloaks

The embroidered collar of the cloak of St. George in one of the side chapels of St. Anastasia, Verona.

Illustration of VERECUNDIA in a Tacuinum Sanitatis. The old man could be lecturing his obedient daughters or saying something which coy young maidens have to pretend they did not hear. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Manuscript Nouvelle Acquisition Latine 1673 fol. 86v courtesy of Mandragore.

Fashionable drinkers of VINUM RUBRUM in a Tacuinum Sanitatis, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Nouvelle Acquisitione Latin 1673 fol. 77r courtesy of Mandragore

– Father of child at the execution of St. George by Altichiero
– Horseman in a yellow cap in Altichiero’s Crucifixion in Padua
– People on balcony at Altichiero’s trial of St. Lucia
– Several saints in Altichiero’s presentation of Raimondino Luppi to the Virgin
– Nouvelle acquisition latine 1673, fol. 90, Hommes s’entretenant
BL Additional 15277 Paduan Bible Picture Book fol. 77r
– The King Syphax identified by Toby Capwell, c. 1435-1445 (Istituto al Gabinetto dei disegni e stampe della Villa Farnese, Rome, FN 2818-2833) … unless he is wearing more of a tabard with both sides open
– Three Kings in the Belvedere (Inventarnummer 4855)
– Full-circle cloak 140 cm long with the same ‘darts’ at the shoulders in Drei Schnittbücher (Zwickel Mantel, pp. 232-233, 264-267) …

This style of cloak is named after the one found on a mummy in Bocksten Bog in Sweden. It was shaped roughly like an oval with one side cut away and closed with half a dozen buttons on the right shoulder. The hem is usually somewhere between crotch level and almost touching the ground. Art shows that some of these cloaks were single and others double.

A closely related form was probably cut as a full oval or full circle but still buttoned at the shoulder. These can be spotted by the way they wrap around the back of the right arm and start pleating immediately at the front opening, and full-circle cloaks appear in tailors’ manuals from the 16th century.

As Bertus Brocamp points out, sometimes these cloaks were rotated so that the buttons were in front of the neck (eg. BL King’s 5 Biblia Pauperum fol. 7).

The original publications are difficult and expensive to obtain and written in Swedish, but Marc Carlsen has an English-language summary.

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