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Pair of gloves

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1615-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Kidskin, silk, silver-gilt thread, silk thread; hand sewn, hand embroidered

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 9 []

Gloves could serve several purposes in early 17th century Britain, apart from the obvious ones of protection and warmth. Many were solely decorative, to display the wealth and status of their owner. They were worn in the hat or belt, as well as carried in the hand. Gloves were popular as gifts and were exchanged as a gesture of engagement or wedding present. In combat, a glove was thrown down as a gage, or challenge.

Decorative gloves were popular with England’s working class. In 1618 Horatio Busini, chaplain to the Venetian ambassador to England, wrote disapprovingly in a report on English customs: “all wear very costly gloves. This fashion of gloves is so universal that even the porters wear them very ostentatiously.”

The decoration of this pair is characteristic of the period 1615 to 1625 with couched embroidery in a stylised pattern and fringe of metal thread.

Physical description

A pair of kidskin gloves decorated at the cuff with couched silver-gilt thread and spangles, raised silk threads. The cuff is lined and edged with coral-pink silk and trimmed with silver-gilt fringe.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1615-1625 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Kidskin, silk, silver-gilt thread, silk thread; hand sewn, hand embroidered

Descriptive line

Pair of gloves, embroidered kidskin, 1615-25, British; silver-gilt and silk thread, silver gilt fringe

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

John Lea Nevinson, Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Textiles, London: HMSO, 1938, p.95


Kidskin; Silk taffeta; Silver-gilt thread; Silk thread


Hand sewing; Hand embroidery


Accessories; Clothing; Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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