Jacket

1590-1630 (made)
Jacket thumbnail 1
Jacket thumbnail 2
+56
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This simple unlined jacket represents an informal style of clothing worn by women in the early 17th century. Unlike more fitted waistcoats, this loose, unshaped jacket may have been worn during pregnancy. A repeating pattern of curving scrolls covers the linen from which spring sweet peas, oak leaves, acorns, columbine, lilies, pansies, borage,hawthorn, strawberries and honeysuckle embroidered in coloured silks, silver and silver-gilt threads. The embroidery stitches include chain, stem, satin, dot and double-plait stitch, as well as knots and couching of the metal threads. Sleeves and sides are embroidered together with an insertion stitch in two shades of green instead of a conventionally sewn seam.

Although exquisitely worked, this jacket is crudely cut from a single layer of linen, indicating the work of a seamstress or embroiderer, someone without a tailor's training. It has no cuffs, collar or lining, and the sleeves are cut in one piece. The jacket was later altered to fit a thinner person. The sleeves were taken off, the armholes re-shaped, the sides cut down, and the sleeves set in again.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, hand-sewn and embroidered with silk, silver and silver-gilt threads
Brief Description
Woman's jacket, 1590-1630, English; embroidered with silk and metal threads, in flowers and fruit
Physical Description
Unlined linen jacket, embroidered with silk, silver and silver-gilt filé, in a pattern of acorns, hawthorn, lilies, roses, pansy, columbine, honeysuckle, sweet peas, borage and strawberries. These are worked in detached buttonhole, chain, satin, stem and dot stitches and knots. The seams were originally joined with an embroidered insertion stitch. The jacket has been altered at the shoulder to fit another wearer. The pale blue silk ribbon fastenings are modern reproductions.
Dimensions
  • Neck to hem length: 66.5cm
Object history
Purchased from A Solomon for £8 in 1873.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This simple unlined jacket represents an informal style of clothing worn by women in the early 17th century. Unlike more fitted waistcoats, this loose, unshaped jacket may have been worn during pregnancy. A repeating pattern of curving scrolls covers the linen from which spring sweet peas, oak leaves, acorns, columbine, lilies, pansies, borage,hawthorn, strawberries and honeysuckle embroidered in coloured silks, silver and silver-gilt threads. The embroidery stitches include chain, stem, satin, dot and double-plait stitch, as well as knots and couching of the metal threads. Sleeves and sides are embroidered together with an insertion stitch in two shades of green instead of a conventionally sewn seam.



Although exquisitely worked, this jacket is crudely cut from a single layer of linen, indicating the work of a seamstress or embroiderer, someone without a tailor's training. It has no cuffs, collar or lining, and the sleeves are cut in one piece. The jacket was later altered to fit a thinner person. The sleeves were taken off, the armholes re-shaped, the sides cut down, and the sleeves set in again.
Bibliographic References
  • John Lea Nevinson, Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Textiles, London: HMSO, 1938, p.70, plate LIV
  • Avril Hart and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, V&A Publications, 1998, p.24 & 25
  • Hearn, Karen (ed.), Marcus Gheeraerts II : Elizabethan artist, London : Tate Publishing, 2002p.44, plate 35
  • Braun, Melanie, 'Embroidered Linen Jacket', in North, Susan and Jenny Tiramani, eds, Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns, vol.2, London: V&A Publishing, 2012, pp.48-57
Collection
Accession Number
919-1873

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record createdApril 25, 2003
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