Blackwork Coif

This is my reproduction 16th century Elizabethan coif. The reproduction is based on a coif in a book by Seligman. Full attribution is found in the bibliography section of the paper.

Unfortunately for web readers, a lot of my source material is personal photos taken in museum collections that I cannot post online in addition to photos found in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4.

The first time I displayed this coif was for the Interbaronial A&S Champions Competition at Atlantian Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival in February 2011.


Starter Kit for Coif Research

  Book Title Coifs & Forehead Cloths
1 Upstairs Downstairs Plain & FancyBritish Samplers and Historic Embroideries 1590-1880

Whitney Antiques 1999

Coif & forehead cloth, pg 4. No date but probably 1600-1620.
2 A Golden Age: Rate and Historic Embroideries From the 16th and 17th CenturiesWhitney Antiques 2008 Plate 5 – Polychrome linen coif, c. 1600. Says matching forehead cloth in V&A T-76-1911 

Plate 6 – Linen coif in silver & silk c. 1600

3 English Embroideries by Mary M BrooksAshmolean Handbooks, Ashmolean Museum 2004

Jonathan Horne Publications, London

2 coifs & 1 forehead cloth pg 73, 75
4 English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art1580-1700 Twixt Art & Nature Polychrome coif, item# 64.101.1258 pg 47Coif (Aimee’s reproduction based on this coif) pg 172

Coif item# 64.101.1242, pg 178

Forehead cloth item# 64.101.1243

5 Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’dJanet Arnold, 1988 Coif, Royal Museum of Scotland pg 205Coif & forehead cloth 1600-10, Lord Middleton Collection, Museum of Costume & Textiles Nottingham pg 49
6 Patterns of Fashion 4, c. 1540-1660Janet Arnold, 2008 Pg 46 coifs:item# 1965-722 National Museum of Scotland

item# 29/130 Burrell Collection

item# 29/131 Burrell Collection

(no #) Coif, Lord Middleton Collection, Museum of Costume & Textiles Nottingham

item# 34.226 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

item# 979.296.8 Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

item# 29.22 Burrell Collection


Pg 48 coif:

item# 1956-1198 National Museum of Scotland

7 Domestic EmbroideryG. Saville Seligman & Talbot Hughes

London – Country Life

(This book is very old, 1925 I think.)

Plate 8 – Pear pattern
8 Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the 16th & 17th CenturiesJohn L. Nevinson

(This book is old.)

Plate LXIIPlate LXI

Plate LX (2) Burrell Collection

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