Contemporary 15th century depictions of seafarers?

Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
Hope this is the right place to ask! I need some contemporary illustrations or written descriptions of the kind of clothing sailors in Europe would have worn at any point during the 1400s.
It's for reenactment purposes so I need to be as accurate as possible with the costume.

One thing I'm particularly wondering about is this depiction of a sailor from slightly later (the 1520s):



Does anyone know if these type of trousers could have been worn at any time during the 1400s too, or was loose breeches not yet a thing?

Any contemporary info on shirts, trousers, headgear, boots, etc. for 15th century seafarers would be really helpful. :)
 
Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
I found these two depictions of sailors wearing long trousers (looser than the hose that were common during the period). Could anybody confirm for me where these two images come from and what are their dates?

The url for this one says 1473 and something in French, but I don't understand it because I can't speak French. :)

« Passages faiz oultre mer par les François contre les Turcqs et autres Sarrazins et Mores oultre marins », traité commencé à être rédigé à Troyes, « le jeudi XIIIIe jour de janvier » 1473, par l'ordre de « Loys de Laval, seigneur de Chastillon en Ve

This one also seems to be from a French site:

http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100107&E=JPEG&Deb=93&Fin=93&Param=C
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honorem
Jul 2009
9,967
Please do not hold me to this guys. My understanding of "seafarers'" clothing revolved around two things: buoyancy in case of disaster, and staying warm.

The "bell-bottom" trousers of modern navies developed from long trousers which helped a sailor stay afloat if he unintentionally found himself in the water. Now that seems to be restricted to enlisted ratings for the most part. Officers don't wear them. :)

As for staying warm, I suspect it is very difficult for us to understand how uncomfortable and unpleasant, not to say unhealthy, it was for these people out at sea for months, or even years. Whatever kept the mariner warm was what he wore.
 
Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
The "bell-bottom" trousers of modern navies developed from long trousers which helped a sailor stay afloat if he unintentionally found himself in the water. Now that seems to be restricted to enlisted ratings for the most part. Officers don't wear them. :)
That's what I heard too. The "bell-bottom" style I have seen from sources from at least the 18th century.

In the Tudor period there are depictions of sailors wearing loose breeches (called "slops") that came down to about knee-level. This would have provided easy mobility and the short length meant they wouldn't get wet if a sailor had to wade through shallow water or work down in the bilges.

As for staying warm, I suspect it is very difficult for us to understand how uncomfortable and unpleasant, not to say unhealthy, it was for these people out at sea for months, or even years. Whatever kept the mariner warm was what he wore.
One of my grandfathers worked merchant ships up around Alaska for a time. I believe doubling up on jumpers and socks was the order of business, though I don't know how many deckhands in the 15th century would have been able to afford extra layers of clothing.
 
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Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,016
Late Cretaceous
Wodz,

This painting is of Jonah and the Whale from Harkeberga Church in Sweden. The artist is Albertus Pictor (1440-1507) and it can be assumed he would have used contemporary seafarers in his picture;

 
May 2016
811
Vatican occupied America
I found these two depictions of sailors wearing long trousers (looser than the hose that were common during the period). Could anybody confirm for me where these two images come from and what are their dates?

The url for this one says 1473 and something in French, but I don't understand it because I can't speak French. :)

« Passages faiz oultre mer par les François contre les Turcqs et autres Sarrazins et Mores oultre marins », traité commencé à être rédigé à Troyes, « le jeudi XIIIIe jour de janvier » 1473, par l'ordre de « Loys de Laval, seigneur de Chastillon en Ve

This one also seems to be from a French site:

http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100107&E=JPEG&Deb=93&Fin=93&Param=C
It's this manuscript from the 15th century "Passages d'outremer" (Voyages Overseas) https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passages_d'outremer

The artist who did it is Jean Colombe. It was commissioned and begun on Thursday, January 1473, by order of Loys de Laval, sire de Chastillon in Vendelois...
 
Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
Huh, just looks like cloth to me. Not sure where 15th century European sailors would have got a supply of crocodile skin clothing. :squinting: