Monday, May 19, 2008

Question from Daniel - Surviving Tudor clothes, furniture, etc.

Does anyone know where the actual clothing,Jewelry,And Furniture is that belonged to Tudor kings and queens like Anne Boleyn and henry V111 etc.. I would like to know if there on display anywhere!

9 comments:

PhD Historian said...

A few articles of clothing that belonged to Elizabeth I were on display at Greenwich in 2003, part of an exhibition commemorating the 400th anniversary of her death. I believe most of the items were on loan from private collector-owners and therefore not usually available for public viewing. There are a few pieces on public display at Hatfield House. Some of her jewelry survives, and a few pieces are in public museums, especially the Victoria and Albert Museum (though the Jewelry Room there has been undergoing remodeling recently). At least one set of Henry VIII's armor is on display at the Tower of London. Mary, Queen of Scots, rosary is on display at Arundel Castle. These are the only items of which I am aware, but I suspect some of our UK residents will know much more about this topic than I do.

kb said...

Hi,
There is remarkably little surviving clothing items from the era. I always find this jarring as there are so many surviving documents. If memory serves, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has some pieces but rarely brings them out into public view. The Costume Institute at the Met Museum in NYC has some Elizabethan era gloves and gauntlets but I'm not sure if they have a whole outfit. The Met also has some furniture and armour from the period. The best resource on the net would probably be http://www.elizabethancostume.net/

She lists lots of books and has deconstructed the clothing which is pretty interesting. Maybe others know more about the jewelry.

Anonymous said...

Abbotsford, in Scotland, has a few personal items which are said to belong to Mary, Queen of Scots. No clothing, however.

Hever Castle, a few years ago, had a christening outfit which Elizabeth I is said to have made for the anticipated child of her sister, Queen "Bloody" Mary.

In 2004, during an exhibition of people executed at The Tower, a scarf embroidered by Anne Boleyn was on prominent display.

Lara said...

Just to add a little info...

The V&A Jewelry gallery is set to re-open this coming weekend. I posted an article about it on the news blog: http://tudorhistory.org/blog/2008/05/11/3000-years-of-jewelry-set-to-go-on-display-at-the-va/

I think they have some Tudor period furniture there too, but it's been 5 years since my last visit, so I'm not 100% on that. I would suggest a look at their website and image gallery though:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/

They also have c. 1600 embroidered jacket and a period portrait of a woman wearing it. As far as I know it is the oldest pair of surviving portrait and clothing.

I vaguely remember Hever Castle having a bed that belonged to Henry VIII, as well as some items that belonged to the Boleyns. I want to say that some side tables and maybe some chairs?

Anonymous said...

Lara...

The door lock which Henry VIII carried from manor to castle is at Hever.

"The Mary Rose Museum", in Portsmouth would be just about the best place to see Tudor-period articles. Clothing from the seamen, personal items carried aboard the craft, and of course those MARVELOUS cannons which Henry commissioned for his navy.

And that's not even mentioning the mighty ship herself!

heathcliff said...

In 2005 or 6 i saw some very old articles of clothing at the Costume Museum in Bath. In particular there was a shirt ( undershirt) from the 16ht century.

Anonymous said...

After browsing some of the sites posted and the internet in general, I am curious WHY there seems to be so little fabrics preserved? It seems there should be a plethera of gowns and garmets from that era, considering they were so ornate!

Alexandra Fokine said...

I know the Palazzo Pitti Museum in Florences has a few surviving outfits of this time, altho the clothing is in the italian style. Also, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has a suit of Armor belonging to Henry VIII!

anna christine said...

There are two reasons I can think of that there are not many surviving items of clothing from the Tudor era or before.
One is that quality clothing was so labor intensive as well as made often in numerous separate pieces rather than a single garment. For this reason items of clothing were often passed along as part of the benefits of noblewoman's or mens service to royalty. Also as these garments were made of many separate parts, ( bodice, many skirts, sleeves,etc..)they could be used as part of another outfit. Later as they became more worn were passed down the social ladder until all use of it was had.
Another issue was that they dealt with more insect pests than we do now. ( I have a 200 year old book with damage from an actual literal book worm.) Because of this and because they were all of plant or animal natural fibers they were susceptible to a variety of insect damage from moths and beetles.