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Cap

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered linen with silver and silver-gilt threads, edged with silver and silver-gilt bobbin lace, spangles

  • Museum number:

    T.75-1954

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This nightcap is a typical example of informal headwear for a wealthy man. Although only worn in the privacy of home, it is a luxurious garment.

Covering the head for both men and women was an important sartorial custom in Western Europe up until 1960s. From a health perspective, head coverings were considered necessary to protect against chills and disease. In literature and paintings, to be bareheaded often signified emotional distress or even insanity.

The use of the adjective 'night' in describing various types of informal garments, as in nightcap or nightgown, is sometimes confusing. It refers to 'night clothes', that is, informal clothing worn in the evening, after the formal public attire of the day, rather than to garments that were actually worn in bed.

Physical description

Cap of embroidered linen with silver and silver-gilt thread in double ladder, interlaced, detached buttonhole and plaited braid stitches. Design of coiling gold stems with flowers and insects in gold and silver. Turned-up brim edged with silver and silver-gilt bobbin lace, and with spangles attached.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1600-1625 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered linen with silver and silver-gilt threads, edged with silver and silver-gilt bobbin lace, spangles

Dimensions

Height: 19 cm, Height: 7.5 in, Width: 10 in maximum, Diameter: 16.5 cm Dimension when mounted, Height: 165 mm, Width: 165 mm, Depth: 165 mm

Descriptive line

Man's cap of embroidered linen with silver and silver-gilt thread and lace, England, 1600-1625

Labels and date

Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars label text:

Nightcap and coif
About 1610; 1600

Men wore nightcaps when relaxing at home, in contrast to more formal headwear worn for public business during the day. The informal head covering for women was the coif. For the wealthy, these could be highly decorated with expensive metal thread and are of great beauty.

England
Nightcap: linen, embroidered in silver and gilded silver thread, with metal bobbin lace
Coif: linen, embroidered in silver and gilded silver thread, spangles and pearls, with metal bobbin lace
Coif bequeathed by Frank Ward
V&A T.75-1954, 239-1960 []
[]

Techniques

Embroidering

Categories

Textiles; Embroidery; Hats & headwear; Accessories; Lace; Men's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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