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Smock

1560 - 1580 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The smock was originally dated to the early seventeenth century and published as such in Hart and North, Historical Fashion in Detail (1998). However a closer look at the integral ruffle at the collar and cuffs reveals that these are inconsistent with the period of the separate ruff, c.1575 to 1620. Therefore the smock must date to the decades just before this period, 1560-1580.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, linen thread, silk thread; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn
Brief Description
A woman's smock, 1560-1580, British; Linen embroidered with red silk in a design of strapwork and flowers
Physical Description
The smock is made of linen and has a high neck and collar, long sleeves with cuffs, and side gores. The collar and cuffs have an integral 'ruffle' of finer linen. The front and back above the waist, sleeves, collar and cuffs are embroidered in back stitch with red silk. The linen is a balanced weave of 40 threads per cm. The design is strapwork in diamond shapes with figure-of-eight knots. Stylised roses and gilly flowers are worked within the strapwork.
Dimensions
  • Top of neck ruffle to hem length: 130.0cm (approx)
  • Total width with sleeves outstretched width: 155.5cm (approx)
Style
Production typeUnique
Subjects depicted
Summary
The smock was originally dated to the early seventeenth century and published as such in Hart and North, Historical Fashion in Detail (1998). However a closer look at the integral ruffle at the collar and cuffs reveals that these are inconsistent with the period of the separate ruff, c.1575 to 1620. Therefore the smock must date to the decades just before this period, 1560-1580.
Bibliographic References
  • Hart & North, 'Historic Dress in Detail' (V&A: V&A Publications, 1998), p.150.
  • Janet Arnold, Jenny Tiramani and Santina M Levey, Patterns of Fashion 4: The cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, neckwear, headwear and accessories for men and women, c.1540-1660, pp.59, 116
Collection
Accession Number
T.326-1982

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record createdMarch 11, 2005
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