Band and Pair of Cuffs thumbnail 1
Band and Pair of Cuffs thumbnail 2
+42
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Band and Pair of Cuffs

1630-35 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Portraits of women in the 1630s show elaborate ensembles of accessories trimmed with bobbin lace, including two or more collars layered on each other as well as kerchiefs and cuffs. Flemish bobbin lace dominated fashion in the period, its draping qualities complementing the style of dress worn. Light and delicate, made with finer thread and more open patterns than Italian lace, it was ideally suited for such use. The linen parts of the collar and cuffs would have required more frequent washing than the lace edgings. The latter were regularly unpicked and sewn to freshly laundered collar and cuffs. Such a translucent quality of linen, very finely pleated and sewn with tiny stitches and extremely thin sewing thread, is characteristic of 17th century linens. The original linen wristbands on the cuffs have been replaced at a later date.

This collar and cuffs may well have formed part of a larger lace ensemble. The lace is made in the bobbin lace technique used for Flemish lace, but its design and the type of thread suggests that it was probably made in England. The quality of English lace in the 17th century was affected by the type of linen thread available. English thread was softer and more irregular than Flemish, though it was praised for its whiteness. Custom for it was at the highest social level. The Countess of Leicester, wife to the English Ambassador to France, was commissioned to purchase English bobbin lace as a present for Anne of Austria, the French Queen, in 1637 and complained of the considerable expense.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Collar (Neckwear)
  • Band
  • Cuff
  • Cuff
Materials and Techniques
Linen. trimmed with linen bobbin lace, hand sewn
Brief Description
Linen band and cuffs trimmed with bobbin lace, probably made in Devon, England, 1630-1635.
Physical Description
A band and pair of cuffs of very fine linen, shaped with sewn darts, and with a narrow neckband, edged with bobbin lace. The wristbands of the linen cuffs are later replacementsg.
Object history
Purchased at Sotheby & Co, London, March 30 1973, lot 30, for £100. No other provenance.
Summary
Portraits of women in the 1630s show elaborate ensembles of accessories trimmed with bobbin lace, including two or more collars layered on each other as well as kerchiefs and cuffs. Flemish bobbin lace dominated fashion in the period, its draping qualities complementing the style of dress worn. Light and delicate, made with finer thread and more open patterns than Italian lace, it was ideally suited for such use. The linen parts of the collar and cuffs would have required more frequent washing than the lace edgings. The latter were regularly unpicked and sewn to freshly laundered collar and cuffs. Such a translucent quality of linen, very finely pleated and sewn with tiny stitches and extremely thin sewing thread, is characteristic of 17th century linens. The original linen wristbands on the cuffs have been replaced at a later date.



This collar and cuffs may well have formed part of a larger lace ensemble. The lace is made in the bobbin lace technique used for Flemish lace, but its design and the type of thread suggests that it was probably made in England. The quality of English lace in the 17th century was affected by the type of linen thread available. English thread was softer and more irregular than Flemish, though it was praised for its whiteness. Custom for it was at the highest social level. The Countess of Leicester, wife to the English Ambassador to France, was commissioned to purchase English bobbin lace as a present for Anne of Austria, the French Queen, in 1637 and complained of the considerable expense.
Bibliographic References
  • Santina M Levey, Lace A History, V&A/Maney & Sons, 1983, plate 163 & A
  • Hearn, Karen, ed, Van Dyck & Britain, London: Tate Britain, 2009, p.129
  • Tiramani, Jenny, 'Linen Band and Cuffs', in North, Susan and Jenny Tiramani, eds, Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns, vol.1, London: V&A Publishing, 2011, pp.135
Collection
Accession Number
T.86 to B-1973

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 29, 2007
Record URL