The Schlappe is a type of Barett from the southern Germanic lands in the time of the 16th century. The name of the cap, Schlappe, is derived from the Middle High German word “slappe” and means a “bag shaped headcovering with flaps” (Zander-Seidel, p.129-137). The ear flaps and the back neck piece are the distinguishing characteristic between the Schlappe and the Barett. There were several distinct styles for civilian and military usage. For military usage it was a man’s cap, but was worn by both women and men in the cities.
While there is one extant knitted Schlappe in the Germanische National Museum, the ones that are recorded in the inventory records in Textiler Hausrat are most definitely made out of cloth, with wool being the most common in trading inventories and velvet as the most valuable and more likely to be passed down in wills.
In 1567, Helena Baumgartner left “one old schlappen valued at 1 gulden, 1 velvet schlappen with Poschlein (brim?) with gilded silver fittings valued at 1 gulden.”
From the women’s clothing section of the 1571, inventory of Hieronymous Imhoff there is listed one “1 furred velvet schlappe valued at 3 pounds”.
Bartholomaeus Hartpronner was an Augsburg businessman who did a lively trade in goods from Italy. His trade record books detail several transactions for Schlappen. Between 1533 and 1535 he purchased 87 dozen Schlappen from Italy in several shipments and recorded color details of these:
- Black – 57 dozen
- Blue – 14 dozen
- Red – 7.5 dozen
- Ash colored – 3 dozen
- Blue and liver colored – 2 dozen
- White – 1 dozen
- Liver colored – 1 dozen
- Green – 1 dozen
After 1535 he just recorded the purchases of “schlappen of numerous colors” at 2 gulden a dozen.(Zander-Seidel, p.129-137)
From the artwork of the period, we get a clear picture of the various styles of Schlappen, as well as a second source of documentation for the colors. Yellow is one color that is documented in the artwork that is not in Hartpronner’s trading records.
Durer, Ein Goldschmied aus Mecheln, 1520
Durer, Jobst Plankfelt, 1520
CRANACH, Lucas The Younger
Zander-Seidel,Jutta Textiler Hausrat, Kleidun und Haustextilien in Nurnberg von 1500-1650 5.2 Barett – Schlappe pages 129 – 137 translated by Katherine Barich. Found online at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GermanRenCostume/files/Textiler Hausrat Translations/
Geisberg/Strauss, The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550, Max Geisberg ; rev. and edited by Walter L. Strauss, New York : Hacker Art Books, 1974.
Originally written in 2007