Pair of Gloves thumbnail 1
Pair of Gloves thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Gloves

1660s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
No 17th-century ensemble was complete without gloves and this particularly lavish pair would have belonged to someone well-born and very wealthy.

Ownership & Use
In an age when personal hygiene involved the masking of body odours rather than washing them away, gloves were often perfumed. Recipes for scenting gloves survive from the 17th century using ingredients such as musk, ambergris, floral extracts and aromatic spices.

Materials & Making
This richly decorated leather glove has silver and silver-gilt embroidery on the gauntlet, with an underlay of coral-coloured silk ribbon. The precious metals have been applied in a variety of forms: strip (broad, flat length of metal), purl (a tube of densely coiled metal), thread (a thin strip of metal wrapped around a linen or silk thread) and spangles (known now as sequins).

Time
As the 17th century progressed, the shape of gloves changed. The gauntlets became smaller and the length of the fingers shortened to more natural proportions. The embroidery is much denser than at the beginning of the 17th century, with a preference for metal thread over coloured silks.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Glove
  • Glove
Materials and Techniques
Leather, silk, silver, gold; tanned, hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Pair of brown doeskin gloves, England, 1660s; embroidered with silver and silver-gilt thread.
Physical Description
Pair of doeskin gloves, dyed dark brown. The cuffs are outlined with carnation silk ribbon and embroidered with silver and silver-gilt filé, spangles, strip and purl. The cuffs are lined with carnation silk taffeta and edged with bobbin lace of silver-gilt filé and strip.
Dimensions
  • T.225 1968 length: 31.3cm (approx)
  • T.225 1968 width: 15.0cm (approx)
  • T.225 a 1968 length: 31.2cm (approx)
  • T.225 a 1968 width: 15.0cm (approx)
Dimensions checked: measured; 01/04/1999 by DW
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Gloves played an essential part in 17th-century etiquette, and are often shown prominently in portraits. The wealthy would not appear in public without them. Silver and silver-gilt thread, purl (a small tube of coiled metal thread) and lace frequently embellished the most elaborate gloves.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Made in England
Summary
Object Type
No 17th-century ensemble was complete without gloves and this particularly lavish pair would have belonged to someone well-born and very wealthy.

Ownership & Use
In an age when personal hygiene involved the masking of body odours rather than washing them away, gloves were often perfumed. Recipes for scenting gloves survive from the 17th century using ingredients such as musk, ambergris, floral extracts and aromatic spices.

Materials & Making
This richly decorated leather glove has silver and silver-gilt embroidery on the gauntlet, with an underlay of coral-coloured silk ribbon. The precious metals have been applied in a variety of forms: strip (broad, flat length of metal), purl (a tube of densely coiled metal), thread (a thin strip of metal wrapped around a linen or silk thread) and spangles (known now as sequins).

Time
As the 17th century progressed, the shape of gloves changed. The gauntlets became smaller and the length of the fingers shortened to more natural proportions. The embroidery is much denser than at the beginning of the 17th century, with a preference for metal thread over coloured silks.
Collection
Accession Number
T.225&A-1968

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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