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Re: Reversible Garb and Beak-Doctors

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

On Thu, 13 Aug 1998 RowenRhys@aol.com wrote:

> 1.  Most of the garb that I make now is reversible...Is this a period
> practice?  And how would such garb fair if entered into a competition?  Would
> it be looked upon as a negative aspect?

I've never seen nor heard of medieval reversible clothing.  I suspect it
is a modern practice.  As such, it would not do well in a competition.

But competitions are stupid anyway.  Don't enter competitions.  The vast
majority of them are too much work for the judges, torture for the
entrants, and a very poor way of getting either feedback or recognition.


> 2.  What exactly is a beak-doctor?  I know that it is associated with the
> Plague in some way and I have a picture of one...but when my students ask
> about it I want to be able to inform them.

In the great plague of the middle/late 17th century it was thought that
wearing a leather hood with glass goggles and a long breathing tube would
provide some protection from the disease for attending physicians.  In
fact it did little but make the doctors appear to be bizarre birds.

I'm not sure when the practice originated; the images I remember are all
from the late 17th century around the time of the Great Fire of London
(which happened at the same time as a major plague outbreak).  That
doesn't mean it didn't happen earlier; just that I don't remember it or
didn't see evidence of it.


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