Embroidered Coif (Unassembled)
Artist/maker unknown, English
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Coifs, or caps, were worn by women when entertaining at home from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. This coif’s scrolling vine motif was influenced by “Tree of Jesse” designs from opus anglicanum. The “Jesse” pattern was inspired by a passage from the Book of Isaiah, which details the Messiah’s lineage, starting with Jesse of Bethlehem, father of King David. To assemble this coif, the embroidery would be folded in half and stitched across the top and secured with a drawstring closure on the bottom. When worn, the assembled coif would form a point at the woman’s forehead.