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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered canvas with silver and silver-gilt thread, silk and linen

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case 5

Object Type
This slip, one of a small group, depicts the coat of arms of Fitzwilliam impaling Sydney (impaling means that the two coats of arms appear on a shield divided vertically into two).

Materials & Making
Slips were small, usually floral motifs drawn onto canvas, then embroidered and cut out. They would be applied to a rich backing fabric such as velvet or satin. They were used in various types of furnishing, particularly bed hangings. It was more manageable for the domestic embroiderer to work a small piece of canvas that could be held in the hand than to tackle a large embroidery in a single piece. It was also easier, if necessary, to detach the slips and reapply them to another backing.

Two manuscript notes in the V&A relate to the commissioning of these slips. They were apparently written by Anne Sydney, daughter of Sir William Sydney of Penshurst, Kent, who married Sir William Fitzwilliam (1526-1599). They seem to indicate that the slips were worked to commission, but almost certainly by household servants, Mrs Fisher and Mrs Lyell, rather than in a workshop.

Physical description

Embroidered slip of canvas with a coat of arms in silver and silver-gilt thread with silk in shades of green, yellow, red, blue, pink, brown, black and white in tent and plaited goblein stitches. The ground is unworked. The edges are turned in and hemmed with linen thread. In the centre is a wreath of leaves and buds, interspersed with four bows, surrounding a shield emblazoned with red lozenges and crescent sable on the right and a phem azure on the left.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered canvas with silver and silver-gilt thread, silk and linen


Height: 20.6 cm, Width: 19 cm, Length: 8.125 in, Length: 20.6 cm, Width: 7.5 in, Width: 19.6 cm, :

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Embroidered slip of canvas with a coat of arms in silver, sliver-gilt thread, silk and linen, Great Britain, ca. 1600

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The coat of arms represents the marriage of Anne Sidney to Sir William Fitzwilliam (1526-1599). Slips were small motifs that were embroidered onto canvas, then cut out and stitched onto larger pieces of fabric. Floral motifs were particularly popular for domestic embroidery. A manuscript records that these slips were intended for hangings, probably for a bed. [27/03/2003]


Embroidery; Textiles


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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