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  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1915 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mary of Teck, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Empress Consort of India, born 1867 - died 1953 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Flannel with stitching pinking and embroidering

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mrs E M Amas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The vest has probably never been worn or washed: the donor's mother is likely to have preserved it unused as a souvenir of the occasion of Queen Mary's visit to the maternity home, and to have kept it subsequently with the added significance of her son's death as a young child. If it sounds unlikely that all the vests and bonnets were Queen Mary's own work, she was an expert needlewoman, and the simplified construction and pinked (rather than stitched) edges of the vest would have very much reduced the time needed to make it. The number of babies in the Home at this time was also likely to be relatively small, as it was a local institution on the point of amalgamating with the Lying-In Hospital to become the larger British Hospital for Mothers and Babies.

Physical description

Vest for a baby, in wrapover style; cream flannel with a round neck and wrist-length magyar sleeves. The front edges are pinked rather than hemmed, and the front edges, neck and sleeve edges are worked with treble feather stitch in cream silk. The garment fastens with crocheted tying strings of stranded thread. The inner seams are neatened with herringbone hemming, and the seams are probably also hand sewn.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


ca. 1915 (made)


Mary of Teck, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Empress Consort of India, born 1867 - died 1953 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Flannel with stitching pinking and embroidering


Length: 19.7 cm centre back, Length: 7¾ in centre back

Object history note

The donor states that the vest was given to her mother, Mrs Ellen Elizabeth Story, during a visit by Queen Mary to a maternity home in 1915. "In 1915 my mother had a son* in April at the British Home for Mothers and Babies (sic) in Samuel Street, Woolwich, SE18. It was just a big house in those days and has since been closed. Her Majesty, Queen Mary was Patron of the Home and visited while my mother was there. The Queen presented all the babies with gifts she had made herself. The baby boys had beautifully made little flannel cross-over vests with feather stitching embroidery. The little girls had bonnets"
* Albert Edward Francis Story, 29/04/1915 - 01/1918
The maternity home was the Home for Mothers and Babies, which in 1915 became part of the British Hospital for Mothers and Babies by amalgamating with the Lying-In Hospital.

Descriptive line

Cream flannel wrapover vest for a baby; said to have been made in the UK by H M Queen Mary ca. 1915

Production Note

see History




Stitching; Pinking; Embroidering


Children's clothes


Museum of Childhood

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