Cap and bells

A cap and bells is a type of fool's cap, a cap with bells worn by a court fool or jester.[1]

A jester with a cap'n'bells and a fool's scepter
A jester with ass's ears

The cap and bells could be in the following forms: [2]

  • with "ass's ears" and an "ass's tail", often curling forward[2][3]
  • with two horns[2]
  • with a "cockscomb" crest[2]

Bells were also added to the dangling sleeves.[2] The bells announced the appearance of the jester.[3]

Other forms of fool's cap in England were shaped like a monk's cowl with ass's ears, a high-pointed cap covered with bells, or a round cap with an imposing feather.[4]


  1. ^ Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged
  2. ^ a b c d e Lucy Barton, "Historic Costumes for the Stage", p. 221
  3. ^ a b ISBN 1412834988, p. 113
  4. ^ Esther Singleton, "The Court Jesters of England", in: Cosmopolitan, vol. 11, 1891, p. 445