Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125b

Pair of Gloves

ca. 1888 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Leather gloves such as these would have been worn outside. They are made from African cape sheepskin, which was commonly known as dogskin. They have a fleecy lining and elasticated wrists, which would have helped keep out the wet and cold.

Design & Designing
Men's gloves did not change much in style in the late 19th century, but manufacturers such as Fownes did try to introduce novelties to extend the range and make their products more attractive to the purchaser. These gloves, for example, are patented with a long continuous thumb. (Most gloves were constructed with a thumb section that was separately stitched on.) In 1896 Fownes introduced a patent button on which the wearer could strike a match, and in 1897 the company advertised a glove with ribbed fingers for driving, which they promoted with the slogan 'Reins Cannot Slip, Rain or Shine'.

Materials & Making
Men's gloves came in various subdued shades to suit the clothing and time of day. Fawn kid or grey suede were popular with frock or morning coats, or at weddings. Tan gloves were often worn with lounge suits. For evening wear plain white or cream suede gloves with black stitching were de rigueur.


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

  • Glove
  • Glove
Materials and Techniques
Sheepskin, lined with lambs' fleece, machine-sewn, with elasticated wrist
Brief Description
Pair of gloves
Marks and Inscriptions
Label on lining printed with 'Fownes patent'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Leather gloves were worn by men of all classes, except poor people. Gloves were often so tight that they were difficult to put on. Fownes, the manufacturer of these gloves warned: 'Almost all breakages of good Gloves are caused by want of knowledge and care when putting them on for the first time.'(27/03/2003)
Summary
Object Type
Leather gloves such as these would have been worn outside. They are made from African cape sheepskin, which was commonly known as dogskin. They have a fleecy lining and elasticated wrists, which would have helped keep out the wet and cold.

Design & Designing
Men's gloves did not change much in style in the late 19th century, but manufacturers such as Fownes did try to introduce novelties to extend the range and make their products more attractive to the purchaser. These gloves, for example, are patented with a long continuous thumb. (Most gloves were constructed with a thumb section that was separately stitched on.) In 1896 Fownes introduced a patent button on which the wearer could strike a match, and in 1897 the company advertised a glove with ribbed fingers for driving, which they promoted with the slogan 'Reins Cannot Slip, Rain or Shine'.

Materials & Making
Men's gloves came in various subdued shades to suit the clothing and time of day. Fawn kid or grey suede were popular with frock or morning coats, or at weddings. Tan gloves were often worn with lounge suits. For evening wear plain white or cream suede gloves with black stitching were de rigueur.
Collection
Accession Number
AP.89&A-1888

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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