Accessories

Accessories

A reticule (knicknamed a ridicule in France) is the name for a small, woman's handbag, popular at the very end of the eighteenth and in the early nineteenth centuries, and Britain especially linked to the Regency period in England. The bags were mostly made of silk, and after about 1810 also of velvet. They could also be made of knitted fabrics.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses a ritual diadem (guan) from China, which dates to the late fifteenth century. It is made of gilded paper with silk embroidery. It measures 29 x 58 cm.

A ruff, or neck-ruff, was a fashionable garment worn in Western Europe from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries. They were worn by urban men, women and children. Ruffs were often embellished with lace (bobbin laceembroidered lace), embroidery or a combination of these forms. The lace, and the full ruff, were sometimes also known as a piccadill. The garment is probably of Spanish origin.

A sabretache is a flat, leather pouch or satchel with long straps traditionally worn by some cavalry and horse artillery officers from the left-hand side of the waist belt near to the officer’s sabre. The term sabretache is an early nineteenth century term that derives from the German word Säbeltasche (Säbel ‘sabre’ and Tasche ‘pocket’) and the French version sabretache.

The National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, houses a shabraque (saddle blanket) that was reputedly acquired on 7th April 1842 during a British sortie against Afghan troops outside of Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, at the end of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-1842). The saddle cloth was allegedly taken by Captain (later Major) James Henry Fenwick of the 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a saddle cloth from the Deccan in India, which is believed to have belonged to Tipu Sultan of Mysore, who was defeated by the British in AD 1799 at the Battle of Seringapatam (Srirangapatna). The saddle cloth is 143.5 cm high and 142.2 cm wide. It is made of a velvet ground material embroidered with silver gilt thread, with wire and with sequins.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden, The Netherlands, houses a remarkable set of a printing block and two embroidery samples. The printing block and the two samples, including the sari band, illustrated here, originate from India and they date to the early 21st century. The other sample, or test piece, was worked with the help of the printing block.

The collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London includes a pocket that dates to the early nineteenth century. The ground material is made of linen and silk, sewn by hand with silk and linen, and embroidered with silk thread. It was acquired for the V&A in 1907, perhaps together with the towel end with bobbin lace.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden houses a machine woven waistband from Mexico, 54 cm in diameter, which is embroidered in cross stitch, and further embellished with red and blue tassels. It belongs to the ethnic group of the Huichol, in the west of the country.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, houses a box and four ovals (two cushions and two 'real' covers) made of silk and embroidered in silk with floral motifs and, on two of the ovals, two texts, namely (in Dutch) bruid and bruidegom ('bride' and 'bridegroom') respectively (TRC 2014.1060a-e). The box and pads were intended to hold the wedding rings before the ceremony. The ensemble dates to 1827.

The so-called Wodehouse falcon hood is a leather cap embroidered with silk and metallic threads, now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is believed to be French in origin and dates to the seventeenth or possibly eighteenth century.

In eighteenth and nineteenth century England, ladies often carried a work bag that contained the basic tools and materials for fancy-work (more precisely known as fancy needlework), often including a housewife.

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