Treasures of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

For those of you who can't afford the trip to London... or can't afford the V&A book... or can't find the book... or forgot to draw sketches...

Of course, some pictures are extremely dark, colours have suffered, and some are disfigured by reflections, but if you've ever squinted at the exhibits of any decent costume museum, you'll know to appreciate the work of my 30-year-old camera.

If you want to take pictures yourself, do not use a flash. Apart from the fact that light damages textiles, the light would be reflected by the glass. The pictures here have been taken with 400 film, 1/30th sec.exposure and at f-2,8. I recommend 800 film or a didgital camera, which is what I plan to use upon my next visit. The original pictures are, of course, much better than these scans and enough to work by. Better pictures of some items are in the V&A book (see Recommended Books).

Lace collar on doublet of beige watered silk with parchment lace, 1600-1605 Doublet, breeches, cloak of yellow slashed and braided satin, 1630s
Baldric of red velvet with silver-gilt embroidery, 1630s Slashes and needle lace, 1630s
Needle lace on boothose and boot (both replica), 1630s Closeup on needle lace of boothose
Woman's Jacket, 1630 Embroidery in dark red wool on linen lady's jacket, c. 1635
Shoes: Pigskin with silk ribbon, 1660s (left) and shoe of brocaded satin with protecting clog, c. 1720 Bodice of beige silk with parchment lace, 1660s
Coat, breeches and cloak, 1670s Dress coat of red wool, c. 1700, and Manteau of light blue silk brocaded with metal thread, c. 1720
Dress coat of brown wool embroidered with silver-gilt thread, 1700-1720 Embroidery on sleeve of same coat
Metal thread embroidery on waistcoat, late 1720s/early 30s Cravat of Bruxelles bobbin lace, 1720s
Dress coat of sprigged red silk velvet embroidered with silver-gilt thread, purl and sequins, 1760s, and red silk Manteau with silver embroidery, 1740s Pleats in back of same manteau
Embroidery on above manteau: upper part of petticoat and bow of train (at right edge)
sketch of back and train
Wedding manteau of ivory silk embroidered with coloured silk and silver thread, 1744
Lady's shoe of leather with silk and satin braid, 1748 Man's shirt - note sleeves. 1750s
Stomacher and sleeve of Contouche of brocaded blue silk with silver bobbin lace, feathers and artificial flowers, 1755-1760
Shoe of painted kid, 1760s Pleats on contouche of chiné silk
Corset and paniers, c. 1770. In the background, mid-19th-century corset with flat-front crinoline Suit of cut silk velvet with voided grund, 1770s
Detail of Unmade Waistcoat, 1772-1775 Contouche of brocaded silk, 1772
Embroidery on waistcoat of cream ribbed silk, 1772 Contouche of cream silk satin with sprig embroidery, late 1770s
Garniture on above contouche Pleats on top of petticoat and sleeve of above contouche
Machine Embroidery on 1870s wedding dress Dress of brown satin with machine lace, 1879-81
Corset, 1883 Same corset from side, with folding wire bustle
Summer day dress of white cotton, 1885 Promenade or travel suit of linen, 1895

I didn't bring enough film for the later periods...and the fabrics there are darker, too.

Established 6/2/1998



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