Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Pin

1620-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Pins were a necessity for the fastening of clothing and the arrangement of dress accessories in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their importance for women as a personal requirement and expense is reflected in the term pin-money, the sum originally allocated to meet this essential cost.

Places
Before the mid-16th century the finest pins were imported from France, but their manufacture in England was encouraged under Henry VIII, and an Act for the True Making of Pynnes was passed in 1543, controlling their quality and price. Gloucestershire and London became the main centres of the pin-making industry.

Materials & Making
As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardisation of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silvered brass
Brief Description
Pin, English, 1620-35
Physical Description
Pin from document dating between 1620-35
Dimensions
  • Length: 1.1cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: PIN CUSHION AND PINS
Enormous quantities of pins were used for the fastening of clothing. Elizabeth I was supplied with 24,000 'pynnes of diverse sorts' just for her coronation. Pins secured the petticoat in a ruffle above the farthingale (hoops that supported a skirt), and held the curves of the ruff in place around the neck. Several dozen might be used for one ensemble. Such a quantity required large pincushions, like the canvas work one here. These pins were found in written documents that were dated between 1620 and 1635.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by R. J. Andrews
Object history
Probably made in Gloucestershire or London
Production
The pins were mounted on card by the donor which he annotated with the dates of the documents they were detached from.
Summary
Object Type
Pins were a necessity for the fastening of clothing and the arrangement of dress accessories in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their importance for women as a personal requirement and expense is reflected in the term pin-money, the sum originally allocated to meet this essential cost.

Places
Before the mid-16th century the finest pins were imported from France, but their manufacture in England was encouraged under Henry VIII, and an Act for the True Making of Pynnes was passed in 1543, controlling their quality and price. Gloucestershire and London became the main centres of the pin-making industry.

Materials & Making
As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardisation of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.
Collection
Accession Number
123G-1900

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record createdJune 4, 2003
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