Friday, July 16, 2010

Early Slops

It's been over a year since I did any research on slops. That time I relied mainly on second-hand sources. A friend at Jamestown asked for justification for slops on the sailors there so I did some original research of my own.

I started with this guy from Gentlemen of Fortune.

They list him as being from 1720. He looks earlier so I looked up the artist. This led to the British Museum. I did an image search on their site and hit gold. This one is Dutch from 1600 and is perfect for my purposes. He is wearing slops, a cassock, and a thrum cap. This is fairly close to what I have worn when doing an early 17th century impression.

 Next are some harbor views from Flanders, from 1647.

All of these have one or more people with some sort of slops. There is also this one. Notice the sailor sitting on the left.

Finally, this site has a woodcut from 1577.

A few points. First, this shows that slops were fairly common from the 16th century and were worn at least into the early 18th century.

I have seen some sites say that they were used as overalls. These etchings do not show any sign that the slops were being worn over breeches. 17th century breeches were very full and would show if they were worn under these slops.

Finally, there are arguments about the bottom of the legs - were they hemmed or not? You can make a strong case either way from these etchings. Some, especially the earliest, looks like they are. The later ones might not be or could have been at one time but the hems are worn.


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ahmad fuad osman said...

Hi Mark, I am currently doing a research on Spanish and Portuguese Sailors of 16th century. Do you have any info on that that can help me with my research? thanks.