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Pair of gloves

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1610-1630 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Kidskin, silk, linen, silver-gilt thread, silk thread; hand sewn, hand embroidered, hand-made bobbin lace

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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. Although often seen held in the hand or tucked into a belt in early 17th century portraits, most surviving pairs are stretched over the knuckles of the fingers, indicating they have been worn. 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.

The tabbed gauntlets of embroidere silk, silver-gilt bobbin lace trimming and ruched ribbon are characteristic of gloves during the period 1610 to 1630. They were sometimes made to match an ensemble of doublet, hose and cloak, as seen in William Larkin’s portrait of Sir Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl Dorset, painted in 1613, in the Suffolk Collection at Kenwood House in London.

Physical description

A pair of kidskin gloves with applied white satin tabbed gauntles, couched with silver-gilt thread, purl and spangles and embroidered with coloured silks in a floral pattern. The cuffs are lined with coral-pink silk and edged with silver-gilt bobbin lace and spangles. The top of the left gauntlet is trimmed with ruched coral-pink silk ribbon edged with silver-gilt bobbin lace and spangles. This trim is missing on the right hand, revealing a coarse linen interlining.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1610-1630 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Kidskin, silk, linen, silver-gilt thread, silk thread; hand sewn, hand embroidered, hand-made bobbin lace


Length: 31.4 cm 201-1900 approx, Width: 18.8 cm 201-1900 approx, Length: 30.5 cm 201:A-1900 approx, Width: 18.4 cm 201:A-1900 approx

Object history note

Part of the Isham collection purchased in 1899.

Descriptive line

Pair of gloves, M or F, 1610-1630, British; leather, embroidered silk gauntlet, silver-gilt bobbin lace

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.92
Tiramani, Jenny, 'Embroidered Kid Gloves', in North, Susan and Jenny Tiramani, eds, Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns, vol.1, London: V&A Publishing, 2011, pp.150-159


Kidskin; Silk taffeta; Linen; Silk thread; Silver-gilt thread; Bobbin lace; Spangles


Hand sewing; Hand embroidery

Subjects depicted

Sunflower; Snail; Birds; Carnation


Accessories; Clothing; Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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