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Pair of Sleeve Panels

1615-1625 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

These sleeve panels were meant to be worn under a gown or bodice with open sleeves. When worn with a partlet, they gave the impression of a lavishly decorated smock or waistcoat under the bodice of the gown, but required a considerably smaller amount of expensive embroidery. In addition, a partlet and sleeve panels would have been less bulkly and more comfortable to wear than a whole waistcoat, under a tight-fitting gown.

The pattern of scrolling stems bearing a strawberries, rose hips, borage, cornflowers and caterpillars is characteristic of the embroidery found on dress accessories in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The design is very similar to that of a partlet, T.13-1956


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Sleeve Panel
  • Sleeve Panel
Materials and Techniques
Linen, hand-embroidered with silk, silver and silver-gilt threads, applied spangles
Brief Description
Pair of linen sleeve panels, embroidered with silk and metal threads, England, 1615-25
Physical Description
A pair of sleeve panels made of of rectangular linen panels worked with oval panels of embroidery to show through the open sleeve of a gown. Embroidered with coloured silks in shades of red, pink, yellow, green, blue, purple and black in chain and detached buttonhole stitch, and silver and silver-gilt threads in double-plait and stem stitches.



The pattern consists of scrolling stems bearing rows of pansies and strawberries, repeating with rose hips, cornflower and centipedes, and borage and foxglove; the whole powdered with silver spangles. Each panel is oval in shape with squared off ends, and outlined in stem stitch in yellow silk. The panels are unlined. The thread count is 80 x 80 threads per inch, approximately. Similar in design to partlet, T.13-1956.
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'S.W.R.1 National Exhibition of Needlework'
Object history
Purchased at auction in 1980 from the collection of Sir William Randle Wilbraham, Bart.
Subjects depicted
Summary
These sleeve panels were meant to be worn under a gown or bodice with open sleeves. When worn with a partlet, they gave the impression of a lavishly decorated smock or waistcoat under the bodice of the gown, but required a considerably smaller amount of expensive embroidery. In addition, a partlet and sleeve panels would have been less bulkly and more comfortable to wear than a whole waistcoat, under a tight-fitting gown.



The pattern of scrolling stems bearing a strawberries, rose hips, borage, cornflowers and caterpillars is characteristic of the embroidery found on dress accessories in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The design is very similar to that of a partlet, T.13-1956
Bibliographic References
  • Wingfield Digby, George, Elizabethan Embroidery, London: Faber & Faber, 1963, plate 29
  • Nevinson, John Lea, 'English Embroidered Costume, Elizabeth and James I--Part I', Connoisseur, XCVII, January 1936, p.25, plate #v
  • Tiramani, Jenny, 'Embroidered Linen Partlet and Sleeve Panels', in North, Susan and Jenny Tiramani, eds, Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns, vol.1, London: V&A Publishing, 2011, pp.136-141
Collection
Accession Number
T.327&A-1980

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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