Wedding preparations for Caterina Strozzi
In 1447, Alessandra Strozzi wrote to her son about preparations for her daughter Caterina’s upcoming marriage to Marco Parenti, describing the luxury and cost of the garments that Parenti was preparing–using funds from Caterina’s dowry, supplied by the Strozzi. As a widow, Alessandra was heavily involved in the wedding preparations, but she was obliged to report to her son, the male relative in charge.
When she was betrothed he ordered a gown of crimson velvet for her made of silk and a surcoat of the same fabric, which is the most beautiful cloth in Florence. He had it made in his workshop. And he had a hat of feathers and pearls made for her [that] cost eighty florins, the cap underneath has two strings of pearls costing sixty florins or more. When she goes out, she’ll have more than four hundred florins on her back. And he ordered some crimson velvet to be made up into long sleeves lined with marten, for her to wear when she goes to her husband’s house. And he’s having a rose-colored gown made, embroidered with pearls. He feels he can’t do enough having things made, because she’s so beautiful and he wants her to look even more so.
Translation in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy, exh. cat., ed. Andrea Bayer (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), p. 9.