Gloves served several purposes in early 17th century Britain, apart from the obvious ones of protection and warmth. Many were solely decorative, to display the wealth and status of their owner. They were worn in the hat or belt, as well as carried in the hand. Gloves were popular as gifts and were often given by a young gallant to his favourite mistress. In combat, a glove was thrown down as a gage, or challenge.
Materials & Making
The gauntlet of the glove is covered and lined with maroon satin. The seams on the back of the hand are embroidered with silver-gilt thread in plaited braid stitch to emphasise the length of the fingers. The spangles worked into the lace would have trembled with movement and glistened in the light.
Designs & Designing
The shapes outlined in pearl reflect the taste for strapwork, a style of decoration deriving from France and Italy in the 16th century. Popular in England in the early 17th century, strapwork appears on furniture and metalwork, as well as in textile designs.