Monday, January 27, 2014

Seabrook Hood - An Update...

Seabrook drawing on a hood made of velvet.

I just received an email from my friend PJW (the great fetish photographer), who may have more information about the William Seabrook-commissioned hood I wrote about in my last post. He thinks I might have the wrong hood pictured in the post, and I'll be the first to admit, I might...

He sent a link to a Click Magazine story, circa November 1942. (You can download the complete scan here at The article is about Seabrook, his travels and writings, and experiments, and includes an image of a woman (possibly Seabrook's 3rd wife Constance?) in the hood shown below:

Note the torn leather at the neck in front - obviously a thin leather was used, probably for the tightest possible fit. Also, I'm thinking the hood was probably used quite a bit! 
 The caption to the article seems to describe the same hood mentioned in "Witchcraft Its Power In The World Today" – "...a leather hood of skin-tight glacĂ© kid. Made to order by an Italian leather artisan..."

 The article has a couple of other images as well, including one of another hood mentioned in "Witchcraft,"- the one made of suede leather. This photo is interesting to me because it shows a  studded collar in use which I believe is the same one depicted by the surrealist photographer Man Ray. 
 I also enjoyed seeing the collection of artifacts, masks and furniture Seabrook collected on his travels around the world. It's hard to me to believe that within 3 years of these photos being taken, Seabrook would take his own life by suicide. But he was obviously a man tormented by his own demons. 

As far back as 1934, in "The White Monk of Timbuctoo" he wrote:

"I myself am a free man in the limited sense that I am ready at all times to defy ordinary conventions at any price, including–if need be–that of my reputation or my money or my life, rather than forgo what I call my freedom–but I am neither good nor happy."


  1. I was going to comment on your earlier post that I saw the pictured hood in one of the Centurion Catalogs, possibly "Discipline Helmets", c.1973. I was always mesmerized by it, the total bondage look as well as the extreme tightness. Had not seen it for years and didn't realize there was a story behind it. Now it looks like that was a false lead, but at least it clears up whether they had just stolen the picture for the catalog which is what I thought when I saw your post. Looking at many of the modern hoods and neck corsets it is not hard to imagine many people in the fetish community taking inspiration from that amazing piece, even though Seabrook was there first.

    Love your work, and I'm glad that you started your blog, give much more opportunity to see your amazing designs and their materialization. Keep it going, please!

  2. Hey Franzk4300,
    Thanks for the comment, and the info about the Centurian Catalog connection. I think that may be where Steffy (who sent the image to me) found it. It is definitely the kind of thing that enclosure and hood fetishists would positively drool over!

    I'm thinking it might be a false lead for a couple of reasons: First, Seabrook didn't include the underarm straps in his description. Second, that hood seems to have no opening at the mouth, where the one shown in the article above definitely does.

    So now the questions are: Why did that image appear in Body Play magazine with the story about Seabrook? And who made THAT hood? Did anyone ever order it from Centurians?

    One step forward, and one step back...