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.

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  • Title: Wedding shirt front (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1848
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 23.8 cm approximate, Height: 39 cm approximate
  • Provenance: Given by Mrs Herbert Terry
  • Medium: embroidered cotton cambric

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