Glove thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Glove

1820s-1830s (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In the early 19th century gloves were an indispensible accessory for women. They were worn for day and evening wear. Wealthy women owned many pairs suited to different occasions and carefully chosen to match particular outfits. Strict rules applied to the wearing of gloves. A woman would be considered undressed if she left the house ungloved and it was customary, for instance, to keep gloves on in church, at the theatre and at balls but to remove them before dining. Gloves soon became soiled, and dirty or worn gloves were a sign of slovenliness and poverty. While the wealthy might only wear a pair of pale coloured gloves once, most women had to devote time and effort to cleaning and repairing their gloves. The difficulties they encountered are reflected in the frequent advice given on glove care in contemporary women's magazines and household manuals.

The bright yellow elbow-length evening glove shown in this image was hand-sewn with minute stitches using white silk thread. The same thread was used for a double line of decorative stitching around the base of the thumb and to work the double lines of stitching for the long 'points' on the back of the glove. Yellow was a very fashionable colour for gloves at the begining of the 19th century. The leather of this glove is extremely fine and supple and would easily have stretched to allow for the glove to be put on and carefully eased onto the fingers and up the arm.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Kid leather, hand-sewn with silk thread
Brief Description
The left hand of a pair of bright yellow elbow-length woman's gloves, hand-sewn with silk thread.
Physical Description
The left hand of a pair of elbow-length evening gloves of bright yellow kid of very fine quality. The glove is cut with a 'Bolton thumb', quirks and fourchettes and is constructed with 'pique' or 'lapseams'. The base of the the thumb has been decorated with a double line of stitching and the back of the hand is finished with points worked with double lines of stitching. The seam from the wrist to the cuff has not been closed.
Dimensions
  • Length: 48.5cm
  • Across palm width: 9.5cm
Summary
In the early 19th century gloves were an indispensible accessory for women. They were worn for day and evening wear. Wealthy women owned many pairs suited to different occasions and carefully chosen to match particular outfits. Strict rules applied to the wearing of gloves. A woman would be considered undressed if she left the house ungloved and it was customary, for instance, to keep gloves on in church, at the theatre and at balls but to remove them before dining. Gloves soon became soiled, and dirty or worn gloves were a sign of slovenliness and poverty. While the wealthy might only wear a pair of pale coloured gloves once, most women had to devote time and effort to cleaning and repairing their gloves. The difficulties they encountered are reflected in the frequent advice given on glove care in contemporary women's magazines and household manuals.



The bright yellow elbow-length evening glove shown in this image was hand-sewn with minute stitches using white silk thread. The same thread was used for a double line of decorative stitching around the base of the thumb and to work the double lines of stitching for the long 'points' on the back of the glove. Yellow was a very fashionable colour for gloves at the begining of the 19th century. The leather of this glove is extremely fine and supple and would easily have stretched to allow for the glove to be put on and carefully eased onto the fingers and up the arm.
Bibliographic Reference
Johnston, Lucy with Kite, Marion and Persson, Helen. Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publications, 2005. 154-5p., ill. ISBN 185174394.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.175-1917

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record createdDecember 11, 2007
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