Antique head parure from Zeeland, Holland.
Although we do not think this is something you would wear it can be a valuable addendum to an antique jewelry collection. A very complete headset from Zeeland which is in the west-southern part of Holland, to be more specific from the area called Walcheren. To find a complete set is special because mostly these sets are split up to different heirs at legacies. This typical wear for a Zeeland country woman (or farmer's wife) was worn in the 19th Century till our days. Today there aren't nearly any people left who wear the dress of this local distinctive style. While the youngsters do not wear it at all any more the older people do wear it occasionally. And in 2003 the last two men wearing the traditional clothing died and most probably in another 10 till 15 years no woman will be wearing it any more either.
What is she wearing you would ask. Well, she is actually wearing more then you can see. First of all, over her back-combed (long) hair with the front of her hair in what is called in the local dialect “toer” (pronounce “tour”) she is wearing a starched so called “ondermuts” (Dutch for the little lace coif that is worn under the cap you see). Over this coif the actual head set was placed. This headset is called “ijzer” (Dutch for “iron”). The reason why it's called “iron” doesn't do it much justice as it is made of a U-shaped silver brace that goes over the back of the head to both temples. At both ends of this brace the gold curls are attached. Most of the times, the weight of the golden curls is engraved in the back of the silver brace as is the case here. It gives us the weight of 32 grams.
Then over this brace the final cap, called “langette”, (also stiffly starched) was placed and hold into its position with three gold needles at both sides of the head. These three needles are in three different sizes and made in gold filigree. Then last but not least, to finalize the outfit at both curls the actual jewel, a pendant, was attached, a sort of triangle plate with low pyramid shapes on it and a baroque pearl hanging underneath.
And then when it started to rain the women hated it because when their stiffly starched caps became wet and soft all their work was for nothing.
Click the picture for more information on this antique jewelry rarity.
The Adin team
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