While searching for things to do with the humanist minuscule hand, I stumbled across a reference in a short 2002 paper by Jessica Wilbur to an oversized 1981 hardback by Jacqueline Herald called “Renaissance Dress in Italy : 1400-1500“. Now, I thought, that sounds like a book I’d really like to buy: only to find out from Bookfinder.com that copies now go for between £403 and £836. Ohhhh well…

However, according to the M25 Consortium and WorldCat there are at least 20 copies of it in libraries not too far from me (including the British Library, the Warburg Institute, Kingston University, Cambridge, Oxford, etc), so it shouldn’t be too hard to get hold of this by some [hopefully legal] means.

Is this something any Cipher Mysteries reader has already seen? It seems almost the perfect book to have in one hand while examining the various Voynich nymphs’ costumes: and it seems strange that such a strong visual resource didn’t feature in the recent Austrian documentary. Maybe its very rarity has made it lost to a whole generation of researchers, who knows?

Update: having posted this, I settled down to continue reading the copy of Mark Phillips’ (1987) “The Memoir of Marco Parenti: A Life in Medici Florence” that I bought yesterday in the very pleasant  Oxford Street Books in Whitstable. And in footnote 22 on p.40 there just happens to be… yes, a direct reference to Jacqueline Herald’s book. What are the chances of that, eh?

4 thoughts on ““Renaissance Dress in Italy : 1400-1500″…?

  1. This happens pretty often to me. I find some extremely interesting book/article, only to discover that I have to sell my kidneys to afford it.
    Knowledge is just so damn expensive…

  2. True – but very few books from the 1980s that I covet are £400+. (Codex Seraphinianus aside, of course.) 😮

  3. Diane on July 25, 2013 at 7:21 am said:

    I suspect the documentary makers omitted detail of the ‘nymphs’ headwear etc. because what isn’t generic an as old as the Hellenistic era is of a kind adopted in the west by conscious imitation of eastern originals. Those were being painted in scenes of Christ’s life by Giotto’s time.

    These days both men and women wear that last as ‘traditional costume’ for Venice or Genoa etc. It’s traditional now, but evidently not a terribly longstanding tradition.

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