Anglo-Saxon costume : a study of secular civilian clothing and jewellery fashions

King Edgar I from the New Minster Charter, 966Anglo-Saxon costume: a study of secular civilian clothing and jewellery fashions

By Gale R. Owen-Crocker

PhD Dissertation, Newcastle University, 1976

Abstract: The thesis consists of five parts: Introduction; Archaeological Evidence; Representations in Art; Literary and Linguistic Evidence; Conclusions. The archaeological evidence firstly considers costume in the. pagan period through an examination of finds from Anglo-Saxon cemeteries; the dress is reconstructed from the positions in which fasteners and ornaments have been found in relation to skeletal remains. The evidence is arranged according to county of origin, thirty counties being considered alphabetically, anti is followed by a discussion.

Secondly, the smaller corpus of fasteners and clothing adjuncts from the Christian Saxon period is considered. Thirdly, the materials from which the dress was made are discussed with reference to a list of leather and textile fragments surviving from Anglo-Saxon clothing. Points considered include techniques of manufacture, origins of unusual fabrics and the functions of different materials.

The discussion of art examines representations of figures in what may have been contemporary costume. Information is derived from illuminated manuscripts, the Bayeux Tapestry, stone sculptures,. ivories and metalwork. Evidence of costume from Old English, Latin, Welsh and Old Icelandic texts is followed by consideration of Old English garment names and other Old English words related to clothing.

The terms are arranged according to the probable function of the articles they represented: materials, outer garments, body garments, loin and leg coverings, footwear, headgear, accessories, general terms and clasps. A discussion follows. The conclusions include descriptions of the probable appearance of men and women during the successive centuries of the Anglo-Saxon era; with suggestions as to the cultural influences which may have contributed to the changes in dress which took place during this time.

Click here to read/download Part 1 this thesis (PDF file)

Click here to read/download Part 2 this thesis (PDF file)

Click here to read/download Part 3 this thesis (PDF file)

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