This is a fragment of an embroidered shirt worn by the donor's father, Edward Morley Perkins, when he married Octavia Shuter at Coulsdon, Surrey, on Nov 9 1848. During the early Victorian period many bridegrooms chose shirts like this to wear to their weddings. The shirt fronts, which are typically hand-embroidered in white cotton, were visible above the top edge of the wearer's waistcoat.
This shirt-front is beautifully worked with acorns and oak-leaves in a variety of textured stitches. The acorns are worked in satin and buttonhole stitch, while the oak-leaves are filled in with a dense mass of small knots. Acorns are a good luck symbol, and oak leaves represent constancy, strength and longevity, making them a very auspicious choice for a bridegroom.