1589 Elizabeth Brydges, maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth by Hieronimo Custodis (Woburn Abbey - Woburn, Bedfordshire, UK)

This black and silver gown may mark the initial appearance of the wheel farthingale.

According to kateemersonhistoricals.com:  "ELIZABETH BRYDGES (1574-October, 1617)

Elizabeth Brydges was the daughter of Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547-February 21,1594) and Frances Clinton (1551-September 12,1623). She was co-heiress with her sister Catherine (1576-1654) to a fortune reckoned at £16,500. She nearly married one Charles Lister, then caught the eye of Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite. In April 1597, she and Elizabeth Russell were turned out of the Coffer Chamber for going to watch the earl play at ballon without permission. The two maids of honor spent three nights at Lady Stafford’s house before they were allowed to return to court. Elizabeth Brydges’s romance with Essex cooled, but in early 1598, he was said to have resumed the affair. In June, 1602, during negotiations over the ownership of Sudeley Castle (Elizabeth’s uncle, William, 4th baron Chandos, also claimed the property) Elizabeth’s cousin, Grey Brydges, assaulted Elizabeth’s representative. In October of that year the proposal was made that Elizabeth marry Grey to settle the matter, but nothing came of the suggestion. Elizabeth Brydges was still at court in 1603 when Queen Elizabeth died and was in the funeral procession. Shortly after James I became king, Elizabeth married Sir John Kennedy, but Grey, now Lord Chandos, disapproved of the match and discovered that Kennedy already had a wife in Scotland. Forced to separate from her husband, Elizabeth lived the rest of her life in relative poverty and obscurity. Portraits: The one below was painted by Hieronomo Custodis in 1585. Two others were painted in 1595 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger." 

The allegorical bird in the upper left corner reminds me of Nine to Five where birds and other wildlife help Jane, Dolly, and Lilly plot to remove Dabney Coleman from corporate power.

Next Album (The Late Farthingale Era - 1590 to 1620)

Her skirt appears to be a small diameter wheel farthingale with a deep vee waistline created by tilting the wheel, the sleeves are huge, and she wears a wide ruff. She wears an extraordinary number of brooches in her hair, on her ruff, and on her puffed sleeves. The pattern of her fabric is elaborate, but not the pomegranate pattern of earlier decades and gold embroidery appears to have replaced the blackwork outlines of earlier years. Her ruff comes from behind her neck to form a U-shaped throat opening in the manner of Louise de Lorraine's parted partlet earlier in this album.

Keywords:  1589, Custodis, Lady-in-Waiting, straight coiffure, crescent neckline, escoffion, jeweled headdress, hair jewelry, necklace, draped necklace, neckline ruff, lace, cuffs, brooch, full puffed sleeves, deep vee waistline, wheel farthingale

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