Though there is little or no pictorial evidence 1500-1560 of
Florentine women wearing cloaks or capes, Elenora's Gardaroba does
document that she wore many types of outdoor clothing. These included
12 short cloaks, 12 long cloaks, 25 capes and 5 waterproof felt capes,
6 Dutch cloaks. (La Mode a Fiorenze, p 149). There is record of several mantei made of wool or satin, commonly red
or crimon, slashed, braid edged, fringes and gold cords. (p150)
The mantellina was a short cloak, often described as a cape for the shoulders or neck. It was apparently similar to the 'gollar' worn by German women. Its main function was warmth. It could be worn underneath or on top of longer cloaks. La Mode a Fiorenze also surmises that the mantellina was worn in bed or in the home for protection against the cold.
Materials used for the mantellina were: wool, velvet or satin or ermesino (tafetta). Prescious silks were usually preferred. The mantellina was usually lined wtih ermine. The colour red was common, as was gold embroidery and hungarian style frogs for closures.
Some pictorial examples of mantellina from other parts of Italy are:
The first is from Sienna (NB: Eleanora was duchess of Sienna also.) Though not a proper mantellina, the first example is not consistent with the georgeri (partlet) which was tucked inside the dress at the time. It is possibly an example of a working class mantellina used at home. The next three examples are from elsewhere in Italy, but showing forms of mantellina that could be worn for warmth.
Capotti = dutch cloaks
mantei = garments of certain size, structured (not loose) worn on the shoulders.
manteo = long cloak, circular or semi circular
© K Carlisle. 2006-2008
(c). K.Carlisle, 2008.