Monday, 20 April 2015

Mini History Blogs: Jacobean Embroidered Jacket

Held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, this seventeenth century embroidered jacket, is a surviving example of English Jacobean embroidery. It was owned by Margaret Laton, wife of Francis Laton, who was one of the Yeomen of the Jewel House during the reigns of James I, Charles I and for a short time Charles II.

As we can see, it was exhibited in front painting of Margaret Laton, who is depicted wearing the jacket. Among wealthy women in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries linen jackets, such as this, were worn as informal dress and were quite popular. It has been described as 'exquisitely decorated with flowers, birds and butterflies, embroidered in coloured silks, coiled tendrils of silver-gilt plaited braid stitch and silver-gilt sequins. The edges of the jacket are trimmed with silver and silver-gilt bobbin lace and silver-gilt spangles.'

The painting is by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger and is oil on oak boards. Gheeraerts was a fashionable portrait artist in the last decade of the reign of Elizabeth I and described as 'the most important artist of quality to work in England in large-scale between Eworth and Van Dyck.'

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