Muff with half-mask
By HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] , 1647

[Muff with half-mask]

Art & Architecture
  • Author: HOLLAR, W[enceslaus]
  • Publication place: [Antwerp
  • Publication date: 1647].
  • Physical description: Etching.
  • Dimensions: 58 by 93mm. (2.25 by 3.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18643


During the 1640s, Hollar produced a series of still life etchings with a focus on fashion, perhaps to complement his other contemporary series on women’s dress and his female personifications. The present example features a fur muffs, lying partly on a white lace handkerchiefs, accompanied by a black half-mask. Monteyne has hypothesised that the muffs that appear in such prints plays a symbolic role in Hollar’s work:

“The fur muff in these etchings is shown to be an enigmatic entity, not only intersecting with issues related to fetishism, eroticism and urban space in early modern London, but is also poised on a threshold between different economies of the object, between residual classical and medieval systems of representation and newly emergent anxieties about the commodity and exchange value.”


  1. Monteyne, J. 'Enveloping Objects: Allegory and Commodity Festish in Wenceslaus Hollar's Personifications of the Seasons and Fashion Still Lifes', Art History 29(3), 2006
  2. NHG Hollar 383
  3. Pennington 1948.