"Formal Monkey Suit"
England, 17th century 
Linen, brocade, silk lining

 

Royal entertainments during the High Baroque called for great sartorial invention, extending down to court fools, dwarfs and even the monkeys which we see so often depicted in paintings and tapestries of the time. 

This elaborate jacket was created for "Master Miggs," one of the court chimpanzees much favored by Charles I and his courtiers. It is said that the beast was quite taken with the garment, to the point where he violently resisted having it removed after the ceremonies, attacking one of the attendants and, as quoted in a journal recording the event, "... did make a great and mocking show of his privvy and hinder parts as a kind of insult, causing much merriment among the maids and serving men, tho' many were besmirched by the dungge he expelled and flung with amazing abandon."

 

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Acquired in part through a grant from City Slickers®— Formal Wear for Big, Tall or Oddly-shaped Men.

 

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