Gloves served several purposes in early 17th-century England. 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 might be thrown down as a challenge.
Silver-gilt thread, coloured silks, silver bobbin lace, spangles (the 17th century term for sequins) and ribbons cover the densely embroidered satin gauntlets of these gloves, in patterns of birds, squirrels and flowers. Many of the designs that appear in Jacobean embroidery were copied from emblem books and botanical picture books, popular at the time.