Pair of Gloves thumbnail 1
Pair of Gloves thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Pair of Gloves

1660-1680 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The decorative gauntlet of this glove showed off the wealth and status of the wearer. The embroidery of the early 17th century has given way to the lavish use of ribbons in the 1660s and 1670s.

Materials & Making
The ribbons have been arranged and attached in deep loops and bows covering the gauntlet of the glove. A wide ribbon of white silk, silver-gilt and silver has a gauze weave creating an open effect. At the selvedges (the edges of the weave, which were finished in such a manner as to prevent fraying) silk threads create a picot edge (an edge formed of small loops of twisted threads). The narrow ribbons are of ivory and salmon-pink silk with silver strips. Here, the selvedges have been cut to create a decorative frayed edge.

Trading
Ribbon was originally woven on a narrow hand-loom, but only one piece could be made at a time. New technology in the 17th century allowed one worker to operate up to 24 looms at once. The increased availability of ribbons influenced fashion, particularly men's wear. Breeches, doublets (close-fitting body garments) and gloves were liberally festooned with great bunches of decorative ribbons.

Disapproval
Moralists condemned the extravagant use of ribbons in dress, especially by men. In 1661 the diarist John Evelyn commented on one young 'fashion victim' as having 'as much Ribbon on him as would have plundered six shops, and set up Twenty Country Pedlars; all his body was dres't like a May-pole'.


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

  • Glove
  • Glove
Materials and Techniques
Leather, silk, silver
Brief Description
Pair of gloves of brown suede, trimmed with silver thread and silk ribbons, England, 1660-1680.
Physical Description
Pair of gloves of kidskin, dyed mushroom brown. The cuffs are decorated with 1-½ inch (3.7 cm) wide gauze weave white silk, silver filé and strip, and two ⅜-inch (7 mm) wide ribbons, one carnation pink and white silk with silver filé, and one of yellow and maroon silk and silver file.
Dimensions
  • T.229 2 1994 length: 23cm
  • T.229 2 1994, wrist width: 15.5cm
  • T.229 1 1994 length: 25.4cm (approx)
  • T.229 1 1994, overall width: 15.0cm (approx)
Dimensions checked: Measured; 01/10/1998 by DW
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Two types of ribbon decorate this glove. Such deep clusters were fashionable between 1660 and 1680. Traditionally, ribbon and braid had been woven on hand looms. By about 1650 the new Dutch engine loom could weave up to 24 ribbons at a time. This increase in production may explain their extravagant use on dress in this period.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Acquired with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and contributors to the Margaret Laton Fund
Object history
Purchased with waistcoat and portrait of Margaret Layton, possibly belonged to a descendant. Registered File number 1994/644.
Association
Summary
Object Type
The decorative gauntlet of this glove showed off the wealth and status of the wearer. The embroidery of the early 17th century has given way to the lavish use of ribbons in the 1660s and 1670s.

Materials & Making
The ribbons have been arranged and attached in deep loops and bows covering the gauntlet of the glove. A wide ribbon of white silk, silver-gilt and silver has a gauze weave creating an open effect. At the selvedges (the edges of the weave, which were finished in such a manner as to prevent fraying) silk threads create a picot edge (an edge formed of small loops of twisted threads). The narrow ribbons are of ivory and salmon-pink silk with silver strips. Here, the selvedges have been cut to create a decorative frayed edge.

Trading
Ribbon was originally woven on a narrow hand-loom, but only one piece could be made at a time. New technology in the 17th century allowed one worker to operate up to 24 looms at once. The increased availability of ribbons influenced fashion, particularly men's wear. Breeches, doublets (close-fitting body garments) and gloves were liberally festooned with great bunches of decorative ribbons.

Disapproval
Moralists condemned the extravagant use of ribbons in dress, especially by men. In 1661 the diarist John Evelyn commented on one young 'fashion victim' as having 'as much Ribbon on him as would have plundered six shops, and set up Twenty Country Pedlars; all his body was dres't like a May-pole'.
Collection
Accession Number
T.229:1, 2-1994

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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