Cushion Cover

1600-1620 (made)
Cushion Cover thumbnail 1
Cushion Cover thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 57
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Cushions were important domestic furnishings. In an age when fixed upholstery did not exist, they made hard wooden seats more comfortable, as well as adding decoration and colour. Chairs were then unusual, but the cushions could be used on wooden stools and benches, on window seats and chapel stalls. They might be made of tapestry or other woven fabrics, or embroidered canvas, silk or velvet. Many embroidered cushions survive in historic houses and are therefore more familiar, but a small number of tapestry cushions are also known.

People
Conspicuous display of social and economic standing, once the privilege only of the aristocracy, was an important result of the increasing wealth of Elizabethan society. More and more people could afford luxury items which could be displayed inside their house, and some made use of coats of arms, names or initials on the fabric of the building itself. This cushion cover is modest and relatively simple in style. It shows the arms of a once influential provincial family, although it is not entirely certain which of them was the cushion’s first owner. There were several men in different branches of the family called Henry Sacheverell – represented by the H and S – to whom this cushion, and its twin in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, might have belonged.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk and wool, with silver and silver-gilt thread
Brief Description
Cushion cover with arms of Sacheverell
Physical Description
Cushion cover
Dimensions
  • Height: 50.1cm
  • Width: 51.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Showing the arms of the Sacheverell family, and probably the initials of Henry Sacheverell (married 1638, birth and death dates unknown)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Please look at both sides Tapestry weaving was used to make small items, such as this cushion cover, as well as large wall hangings.The loose threads on the back show where one area of colour in the pattern ends and another begins. The front has faded but the back shows the original bright colours. Each colour was woven as a separate block.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Formerly at Wolles Hall, WorcestershireMade at the Sheldon tapestry workshops at Bordesley, Worcestershire or Barcheston, Warwickshire
Production
Made at the Sheldon tapestry workshops at Barcheston, Warwickshire
Summary
Object Type

Cushions were important domestic furnishings. In an age when fixed upholstery did not exist, they made hard wooden seats more comfortable, as well as adding decoration and colour. Chairs were then unusual, but the cushions could be used on wooden stools and benches, on window seats and chapel stalls. They might be made of tapestry or other woven fabrics, or embroidered canvas, silk or velvet. Many embroidered cushions survive in historic houses and are therefore more familiar, but a small number of tapestry cushions are also known.



People

Conspicuous display of social and economic standing, once the privilege only of the aristocracy, was an important result of the increasing wealth of Elizabethan society. More and more people could afford luxury items which could be displayed inside their house, and some made use of coats of arms, names or initials on the fabric of the building itself. This cushion cover is modest and relatively simple in style. It shows the arms of a once influential provincial family, although it is not entirely certain which of them was the cushion’s first owner. There were several men in different branches of the family called Henry Sacheverell – represented by the H and S – to whom this cushion, and its twin in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, might have belonged.
Collection
Accession Number
T.195-1914

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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