Handkerchief thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

Handkerchief

1707 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Silk handkerchiefs with designs printed from engraved plates were initially produced and sold by map and print sellers. They may have been intended for display, or to contain such specific information as routes to London or coach fares. Silk would have provided a convenient and easily foldable support, more permanent than paper. By the beginning of the 18th century commemorative designs were also being printed on silk, and by 1713 this type of object was being described as a 'printed handkerchief'.

Materials & Making
The design used here of arabesques with roundels containing coats of arms around the borders is known from other handkerchiefs. It must have been printed from a re-usable engraved metal plate that had a central space for inserting a topical design.

Subjects Depicted
The handkerchief gives 'An account of 5 most glorious victorys obtaind by the confederets in 3 succeding campains viz Schellenberg Hochstadt Barcelona Ramilly & Turin'. These victories were under the leadership of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), appointed Captain General of British Forces and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, following the French invasion of the Spanish Netherlands in 1701. Marlborough is considered one of the foremost strategists and military administrators in British history.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, printed from a metal engraved plate
Brief Description
Silk, Marlborough victories, metal-plate printed, by Robert Spofforth, England, 1707
Physical Description
Silk, printed from a metal plate engraved and signed
Dimensions
  • Height: 67cm
  • Width: 67cm
Dimensions checked: measured; 26/01/1999 by DW object has been mounted on a piece of light silk, 76 x 76cm. Backboard dims will vary according to whether it is remounted. Some slight stretching on mounting
Marks and Inscriptions
signed Robert Spofforth (engraver) (1) Signature)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Silk handkerchiefs, printed from engraved plates with non-washable printer's ink, were first produced in the 1650s. They often featured practical information, such as road maps. They could also carry political messages. This one commemorated British victories in Europe, and was produced while popular opinion still supported involvement in the war against France.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by A. G. Munday
Object history
Made in England
Summary
Object Type
Silk handkerchiefs with designs printed from engraved plates were initially produced and sold by map and print sellers. They may have been intended for display, or to contain such specific information as routes to London or coach fares. Silk would have provided a convenient and easily foldable support, more permanent than paper. By the beginning of the 18th century commemorative designs were also being printed on silk, and by 1713 this type of object was being described as a 'printed handkerchief'.

Materials & Making
The design used here of arabesques with roundels containing coats of arms around the borders is known from other handkerchiefs. It must have been printed from a re-usable engraved metal plate that had a central space for inserting a topical design.

Subjects Depicted
The handkerchief gives 'An account of 5 most glorious victorys obtaind by the confederets in 3 succeding campains viz Schellenberg Hochstadt Barcelona Ramilly & Turin'. These victories were under the leadership of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), appointed Captain General of British Forces and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, following the French invasion of the Spanish Netherlands in 1701. Marlborough is considered one of the foremost strategists and military administrators in British history.
Bibliographic References
  • Silk: Fibre, Fabric and Fashion, edited by Lesley Ellis Miller and Ana Cabrera Lafuente with Claire Allen-Johnstone, Thames and Hudson Ltd. in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom, 2021, p. 281
Collection
Accession Number
T.85-1934

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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