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Sleeve

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered and appliquéd silk, with cording and glass beads

  • Museum number:

    225-1893

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These pieces probably came from a man's cloak or woman's petticoat. Like much surviving costume, they have been re-used in several incarnations over the past 400 years. During the late 19th century, authentic 17th century pieces of clothing were adapted and altered for wear as fancy dress. It was at this time that this fabric was cut up for sleeves, a process which unfortunately obliterated most of the evidence of their original 17th-century incarnation. Their unique textiure has been created by couching cords covered in green silk to the ribbed ground, and applying tufts of floss silk and green glass beads.

Physical description

Pieces of dress fabric, green silk embroidered and appliqued with cording and glass beads. The unique texture of these sleeves has been created by couching cords covered in green silk to the ribbed ground and applying tufts of floss silk and green glass beads. The sinuous pattern relates to strapwork, a popular design found on a variety of media during this period. It can also be compared to the curvilinear patterns of stems in contemporary embroidery, with the bugles and floss silk creating an abstract rendition of a flower.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1600-1625 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered and appliquéd silk, with cording and glass beads

Dimensions

Length: 56 cm, Width: 20 cm at sleeve head, Width: 9 cm at cuff

Object history note

These pieces probably came from a man's cloak or woman's petticoat. Like much surviving costume, they have been re-used in several incarnations over the past 400 years. During the late nineteenth century, real seventeenth century clothing was adapted and altered for wear as fancy dress. It was at this time that the fabric was cut up for sleeves, a process which unfortunately obliterated most of the evidence of their original seventeenth-century incarnation.

Historical context note

Glass beads or bugles, as they were known, were one of the more unusual materials used to decorate clothing in the sixteenth century; there are only three references to bugles in the inventories of Elizabeth I's wardrobe. The Murano glassworks outside Venice, the centre of glass manufacture during the Renaissance, had developed by the sixteenth century the 'drawn'glass' technique which allowed the production of large quantities of glass beads with a central hole. These 'bugles' were made primarily for trade with North America and Africa, but were also sold in Europe for use in embroidery.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Arnold, Wardrobe Unlock'd, pp. 290 and 263; Hart and North, Historical Fashion, p. 28

Production Note

During the late 19th century, real 17th-century clothing was adapted and altered for wear as fancy dress. It was at this time that the fabric was cut up for sleeves, a process which unfortunately obliterated most of the evidence of their original 17th-century incarnation.

Reason For Production: Private

Materials

Silk; Cording; Glass beads

Techniques

Embroidery; Applique

Categories

Textiles; Embroidery; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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