Friday, June 18, 2010

Update: An Extraordinary Embroidered Jacket

Friday, June 18, 2010

Susan reporting:

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!


Allison said...

Wow, how amazing is that jacket! No wonder it took a whole team of people to make. I can't imagine having that kind of patience.

Mme.Tresbeau said...

I remember this from before, but the new pictures are even better at showing exactly how beautiful this jacket is. What an achievement for those who made it!

Jenny Girl said...

This jacket always blows me away when I see the pictures.

Love Winterthur! Went with my mom at Christmas time and had a great time. The whole day was spectacular.

Lady Burgley said...

The "Faith" jacket is a wonderfully inspiring project to anyone involved with historical interpretation or study. That so many individuals were able to pool their talents to create such a masterpiece is a marvelous testament to what communities working together can achieve, much like a modern-day quilting bee or barn-raising.

Finegan Antiques said...

The first time I saw the jacket I was in awe. Seeing again today I am still in awe. I wonder if a period piece was done by one person and if so I wonder how long it took to conplete it. I have an 18th century clothing collection and everytime I take it out to view the pieces I am blown away. Confession... I hate to have to sew on a button myself so to see this work of art is truly unbelievable. Thanks again for sharing.


nightsmusic said...


Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

Oh my goodness that is absolutely stunning. Wish I had a museum like Winterthur nearby. Thanks for showing the jacket...I sew, but this is incredible.

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