Last year I wrote here about a replica of a c. 1600 women's jacket that had been created by dozens of volunteer embroiderers, lacemakers, and craftspeople under the auspices of Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA. (Here's more about the jacket in the blog that documented its progress to completion.) Once done, the jacket had acquired considerable celebrity in the Boston-area media and among scholars of historic dress, but I'd wondered what had become of it once all the fanfare had passed.
To my surprise and delight, last week I discovered that the jacket had become a neighbor. Not far from my home is Winterthur, the Dupont family's country estate and museum housing their phenomenal collection of American art, decorative art, and antiques. And there, on display, was the Plimoth jacket.
I was able to study it in detail, and take photographs of my own (above.) I hope you'll click on them and enlarge the images to appreciate the phenomenal needlework. For an English lady four hundred years ago, a jacket like this would have been a costly "status" garment, much like a haute couture gown might be today, and when you consider the thousands of stitches covering the surface, the dangling golden sequins and the gold needle-lace edging, it's easy to understand why. This is truly a masterpiece in every sense of the word!
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.