I want to make a plague doctor costume for Halloween, and I want it to be as accurate as possible.
One of these guys.
I think they're fantastically creepy, and really want to skulk around in that beaked mask and black robe.
But I want it to be historically correct, and although the plague doctor image seems pretty widespread, I'm having trouble finding sources that describe in much detail (or provide any sort of citation) for the materials and methods used to make them. I'm not even sure the exact time periods and areas where the costumes were worn. There were recurrent epidemics throughout Europe from the initial 1347-48 outbreak up to the plague of Marseilles in 1720, which is a pretty wide window. I've heard that the costume arose later on during the plague centuries, but I'm not exactly sure when and where.
I'd like to know more about the costumes-- dates, places, variations, materials, methods of construction. Tell me what you know, or feel free to point me to a book that has more information, I can try and track it down. Also, if anybody has any tips or ideas for how best to go about making it, I would love that, too.