Analyses the evolution of royal weddings, the surrounding ceremonial, and the dress worn at them (including men’s dress), from 1486-1986.
Includes transcript of materials and other items for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I in 1559.
Portrait dated 1547 linked to a letter.
The vast wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I is legendary: in her own time some of the richly embroidered gowns were displayed with other treasures to dazzle the eyes of foreign visitors to the Tower of London. The quantity of clothes recorded in the inventories taken in 1600 would seem to suggest sheer vanity, but a survey of work carried out in the Wardrobe of Robes throughout the reign reveals a different picture. It is one of careful organisation and economy.
This copiously annotated work is illustrated with photographs of portraits, miniatures, tomb sculptures, engravings, woven textiles and embroideries. Two indexes are provided, the first of paintings, persons, places, and events, while the second, partly a glossary, enables the reader to quickly trace information on fashionable dress and accessories.
Describes and illustrates with patterns the oldest surviving robes of the Order of The Garter dating to 1603.
Part of a special section on King William III’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace, England. The writer proposes that it is possible to reconstruct the original tapestry hanging scheme of 1699 at Hampton Court. He notes that circumstantial evidence from contemporary wardrobe accounts and descriptions from later sources indicate that the State Apartments were hung with tapestries from the Abraham and Joshua series, originally purchased by Henry VIII, which are two of the most valuable sets in the royal collection.
The school of Raphael tapestries in the collection of Henry VIII are discussed. In addition to the 1547 inventory of Henry VIII’s possessions, which included the Acts of the Apostles tapestry set, a number of shorter and earlier inventories also survive. One of these, dated 1542, lists two of the Acts of the Apostles as well as two of the Antiques, another tapestry set. These Antiques can be identified with a seven-piece set of the same name that was moved from Westminster to the Tower Wardrobe some months after the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The quality of the Acts of the Apostles and a Brussels mark in the lower selvage of one of the Antiques suggests that both sets were woven in Brussels; the mark has been attributed to the workshop of Guillaume and Jean Dermoyen.
The writer discusses a group of tapestries that hung in the Prince’s Chamber of the House of Lords, the only record of which are drawings and descriptions by the antiquary John Carter. He explains that the set’s true identity is provided by a tapestry fragment sold in 1979, part of which corresponds to Carter’s drawing of the right side of the first of the set and includes the section that he did not see, showing Amulius ordering the infants Romulus and Remus to be abandoned in the wild. Observing that this suggests the other tapestries also showed scenes from the story of Romulus and Remus, he notes that four pieces on this subject were sent from the Removing Wardrobe at Whitehall to the Prince’s Chamber in 1685 and that they had been used in this location on previous occasions. He asserts that this provides a clear link with one of two sets of this subject listed in the royal collection in the 17th century. He goes on to discuss the earlier provenance of the set that can be identified from this association, asserting that the set was Flemish and was sold to Henry VIII in 1529.
New evidence suggests that the ‘double chariot’ Triumphs of Petrarch tapestries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, derive from a set that was woven in 1520 for Cardinal Wolsey. Evidence for the arrival of the Triumphs series at the Tudor court is provided by documentation relating to Wolsey’s artistic patronage in the early 1520s. Confirmation that he owned two sets of this design is provided by the inventory of his tapestries that was drawn up between late 1521 and early 1523. Furthermore, an adaptation made to the cartoon from which the Victoria and Albert’s Triumph of Fame over Death was woven suggests that there may be grounds for assuming a link between it and the high-quality set of Triumphs listed in Wolsey’s inventory: Two new figures were added in the center of the cartoon for the Triumph of Fame over Death, one portraying Wolsey himself, the other his patron, Henry VIII.
Extracts from the Wardrobe Accounts for the trousseau of James I’s daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was married in 1613.
Part of a special section on National Trust historic houses and collections in England and Northern Ireland. The writer discusses an 18th-century dress held in the Springhill Costume Collection at Springhill, County Derry, Northern Ireland. A richly decorated robe and matching petticoat made in a magnificent silk brocaded tabby, the costume is a mantua, intended to be worn for presentation at Court in England. These garments dated to the late 17th century and were informal, loose gowns. The style fossilized into a fitted bodice, pleated into the small of the back, and a train, lifted off the ground by a pin or fastener. Such garments were so valuable that they were recycled for the original owner’s daughter or other relative when their turn to be presented came; this example was worn at a Court ball in 1845.
Describes the court manutas of earlier eighteenth century in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum and considers their background and use.
Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) introduced a new type of costume in his portraits during his second English period (1632-1641), one that blurred the margins of fact and fancy. He used costume to forge a complex and memorable image of his English patrons, the Caroline courtiers, one that captured their ideals and yet had resonance for many years after his death. Van Dyck established new conventions for the representation of dress in portraits that held sway until the end of the seventeenth century. Later generations of English, Dutch, and French painters, used Van Dyck´s innovations as a touchstone for a new manner of dressing sitters, one that was partially fictional, and much more casual and unbuttoned than had ever been represented before. This book shows that an understanding of dress can offer a new way of revealing the associations and ideals that a portrait may have projected, and that the history of costume provides a unique set of tools with which to analyze the creativity and contributions of Van Dyck.
The writer examines a cross section of male headwear worn at the courts of Henry VIII and Edward VI. More so than any other garment, in 16th-century England the hat was integrally linked with social standing, age, and affluence, and it was therefore an essential accessory for all but the poorest man. The writer considers the significance of male headwear in three contexts: as a record of materials and makers, an indication of individuality or corporate identity, and a mark of authority or dependence. Noting that a great deal of the evidence is concerned with the monarch and the opulence of royal headwear, she discusses Henry VIII’s weakness for hats, noting that he used them to demonstrate his place at the top of the social order.
Red, in all its various shades, was a colour with many associations at the court of Henry VIII. This article presents a thematic analysis of the key circumstances when red clothing was worn at Henry VIII’s court, namely the robes worn at sessions of parliament by the nobility and secular clergy, the livery issued at coronations, as well as livery given to members of the king’s household and his army in 1544. In addition, the king wore red for key days in the liturgical year as his medieval predecessors had, while it also formed part of his everyday wardrobe. Red was also significant for others at the Henrician court, including the secular and ecclesiastical élite. As such, it was a colour that was associated with wealth, status and parliamentary authority.
Henry VIII used his wardrobe, and that of his family and household, as a way of expressing his wealth and magnificence. This book encompasses the first detailed study of male and female dress worn at the court of Henry VIII (1509-47) and covers the dress of the King and his immediate family, the royal household and the broader court circle. Henry VIII’s wardrobe is set in context by a study of Henry VII’s clothes, court and household.
As none of Henry VIII’s clothes survive, evidence is drawn primarily from the great wardrobe accounts, wardrobe warrants, and inventories, and is interpreted using evidence from narrative sources, paintings, drawings and a small selection of contemporary garments, mainly from European collections.
Key areas for consideration include the King’s personal wardrobe, how Henry VIII’s queens used their clothes to define their status, the textiles provided for the pattern of royal coronations, marriages and funerals and the role of the great wardrobe, wardrobe of the robes and laundry. In addition there is information on the cut and construction of garments, materials and colours, dress given as gifts, the function of livery and the hierarchy of dress within the royal household, and the network of craftsmen working for the court. The text is accompanied by full transcripts of James Worsley’s wardrobe books of 1516 and 1521 which provide a brief glimpse of the King’s clothes.
Discussion of the manuscript evidence for gifts in kind made to Garter, particularly gowns and other items of clothing. Includes edited extracts from Paris, Bibliothèque National, MS anglais 107.
The British Galleries project at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) involved a major redisplay of approximately 5000 objects. One of the star objects provided an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate the presentation and shape of an important eighteenth-century dress known as the Christie Dress. A paper on this object had been published previously in Studies in Conservation 23 (1978) 1-14, but at that time little material analysis was carried out. Since the late 1970s the mantua has been on almost constant display. The authors describe the technical research, materials analysis and conservation, and re-evaluate previous reconstructions carried out on the dress. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
This paper evaluates the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I on the basis of the colours that she wore. The author takes an often quoted comment, that Elizabeth I stated ‘these are my colours’ of black and white, and using evidence collected from the New Year’s gift rolls provides details of over thirty different colours worn by the queen. The article examines the colours in groups to see if they were associated with a particular time in Elizabeth’s life, a particular occasion or activity. The paper is supported by appendices providing a glossary of colour and dress terms, the years when particular colours were worn, how they were used, if they were used in combination with other colours and a list detailing the locations of the extant gift rolls.
Throughout history rulers have used clothes as a form of legitimisation and propaganda. While palaces, pictures and jewels might reflect the choice of a monarch’s predecessors or advisers, clothes reflected the preferences of the monarch himself. Being both personal and visible, the right costume at the right time could transform and define a monarch’s reputation. Many royal leaders have known this, from Louis XIV to Catherine the Great, and Napoleon I to Princess Diana. This book explores how rulers have sought to control their image through their appearance. Mansel shows how individual styles of dress throw light on the personalities of particular monarchs, on their court system, and on their ambitions. It looks also at the economics of the costume industry, at patronage, at the etiquette involved in mourning dress, and at the act of dressing itself.
Detailed discussion of four detached pages from a volume of manuscripts relating to heraldry which include the powdering of ermine for various degrees of nobility and illustrations of noble ladies in ceremonial dress.
Gives an overview of the clothing and accessories worn by Queen Caroline. Also discusses the bathing customs of the time, including the textiles required for bathing (e.g. to line the bath or cover the floor).
A biography, not primarily concerned with dress, but with descriptions of Mary I’s clothing throughout. Numerous colour illustrations.
Considers the evidence from archives, paintings and drawings of George IV wearing Highland Dress on occasions from 1789 and not just on his famous visit to Scotland in 1822.
Discussion of the jewellery inventory of Anne of Denmark, wife of James I of England.
Exhibition catalogue with numerous colour and monochrome plates.
Clothing occupies a complex and important position in relation to human experience. Not just utilitarian, dress gives form to a society’s ideas about the sacred and secular, about exclusion and inclusion, about age, beauty, sexuality and status. In Dressing the Elite, the author explores the multiple meanings that garments held in early modern England. Clothing was used to promote health and physical well-being, and to manage and structure, life transitions. It helped individuals create social identities and also to disguise them. Indeed, so culturally powerful was the manipulation of appearances that authorities sought its control. Laws regulated access to the dress styles of the elite, and through less formal strategies, techniques of disguise were kept as the perquisites of the powerful.
Focusing on the elite, the author argues that clothing was not just a form of cultural expression but in turn contributed to societal formation. Clothes shaped the configurations of the body, affected spaces and interactions between people and altered the perceptions of the wearers and viewers. People put on and manipulated their garments, but in turn dress also exercised a reverse influence. Clothes made not just the man and the woman, but also the categories of gender itself. Topics covered include cross-dressing, sumptuary laws, mourning apparel and individual styles.
Part 1 of a two-part study of the life and work of Edmund Harrison, a leading embroiderer of the 17th century, treats Harrison’s life and his position in society. As a royal embroiderer at the courts of both James I and Charles II, Harrison’s career is proof that embroidery in England was far from an amateur pursuit. Part 1 comprises sections on Harrison’s origins and early career; duties as the king’s embroiderer; marriage and family connections; activities during the English Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration; assets, debts, and bequests; and family and home life. Appendices include a list of items acquired by Harrison from the sale of Charles I’s goods and Harrison’s last will and inventory.
Edmund Harrison (1590-1667), known as the King’s Embroiderer, was a member of the Great Wardrobe, a branch of the King’s civil service. He worked under James I, Charles I, and Charles II, and his responsibilities included procuring materials, designing patterns, and running the embroidery workshops, which not only produced new work, but repaired and restored older work as well. Among the work produced by Harrison was work for the Master of the Robes (the King’s clothes, armorial work, and masque costumes), work for the Great Wardrobe (the stables, bed hangings, cloths of state, barge cloths, heralds’ tabards and liveries, banners and standards, the Order of the Garter, covers for bibles and prayer books, and ecclesiastical embroidery), and work for private patrons (the Corby Castle Pictures and the Sandys of the Vyne Chapel embroideries). The article includes twelve appendices of extracts from accounts and other documentary sources.
Discusses extracts from a range of bills presented to the royal household pertaining to the supply of clothing, domestic textiles (e.g. sheets) and vestments.
John Shepley became the King’s Embroiderer in reversion in 1607 and became King’s Embroiderer jointly with Edmund Harrison in 1621 while retaining his position as embroiderer to the Prince of Wales. Charles I made Harrison the King’s Embroiderer in 1625, even though Shepley continued to work for Charles. Shepley’s accounts show records for embroidering such items as a Cloth of State, hangings, velvet coats for watchmen, and garters for the Order of the Garter. The fashionable embroidery for men’s apparel was subtle and usually sewn in the same color as the background fabric. Shepley also embroidered costumes for masques, velvet cabinet coverings, horse harnesses and reins, saddle pads, and complete tilting contest outfits for the prince and his entourage. The bills for the tilting outfits also included charges for candles, glue, paper and ink for drawing patterns, nails for embroidery frames, and wages for 64 embroiderers.
Part of a special section on King William III’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace, England. The writer details the fundamental role played by surviving documents and fabrics in the refurbishing of the State Apartments at Hampton court. Many documents survive, as do two canopies of state and the crimson velvet state bed that were placed there in William’s reign. Considered together, these serve to increase the understanding of the use and importance of fabrics and trimmings in the late-17th-century interior. The writer gives a detailed account of the restorers’ use of the remaining fabric and of the extant documents that describe the fabrics used.
In 1504, an indenture between Henry VII, the Abbot of Westminster, the Mayor of London, and the University of Cambridge established that the University would be paid £10 a year in exchange for celebrating a yearly service in honor of Henry VII. The indenture required that a hearse cloth be present for this service. In February 1505 an item of cloth of gold, velvet, and embroidered Tudor emblems was entered into the University accounts. The 4 x 3 m cloth survives as one of the University’s oldest possessions in the care of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The hearse cloth, or funeral pall, began life as an ecclesiastical textile and a symbol of political power and wealth. With the English Reformation, the cloth retained its political function, but its use as a marker of devotion to the Roman Church was rejected. The conservation of the hearse cloth, in preparation for long-term display, was the MA Textile Conservation dissertation project of the author. This poster reports on treatment of the cloth and collaboration between conservators, historians, and conservation scientists.