Cast Of Each Comic

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Costumer's Manifesto: The 17th Century Part 1

embroidered jacket ca. 1610-1615
“Object Type
This fine early 17th-century woman’s jacket is particularly significant because it is shown being worn in the Portrait of Margaret Layton (museum no. E.214-1994), attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636) and displayed alongside it.

Ownership & Use
Margaret Laton or Margaret Layton – What’s in a name? When the V&A acquired the jacket and portrait of Margaret Layton in 1994, we used the version ‘Laton’ following the example set in 1933 by V&A curator Albert Kendrick. However, according to documents and monuments of the Layton family in Rawdon, Yorkshire, and the Dictionary of National Biography, the name was always spelled with a ‘y’. We are now making corrections in V&A labels, brochures, publications and on the V&A website.
embroidered jacket ca. 1610-1615

In the portrait, Margaret Layton wears the jacket with an Italian needlelace collar and cuffs, a black velvet gown, a red silk petticoat and a whitework apron. As with many women of this period, we know very little about her life, other than her recorded connections to her father and husband.

Materials & Making
The jacket has long, tight sleeves, narrow shoulder wings, semi-circular cuffs and a small curved collar at the back neck, dating it to about 1610. Made of linen, it is hand sewn and lined with coral silk taffeta. Originally the jacket was fastened with pink silk ribbons. In the 1620s, an edging of spangled silver-gilt bobbin lace was added. The ribbons were removed and probably replaced with hooks and eyes, which have not survived. The jacket is embroidered in plain and fancy detached buttonhole, stem, plaited braid, chain, long and short and Roumanian stitches, with spider knots and speckling, partially padded, and with spangles.

Although the jacket was made about 1610, the portrait was painted more than 10 years later. By this time, waistlines had risen. Margaret Layton adapted to the new style by raising her petticoat and covering the lower half of the jacket.”
embroidered jacket ca. 1610-1615

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