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Object Timeline

1971

  • We acquired this object.

2009

2012

2019

  • You found it!

Nightcap (England), 17th century

This is a Nightcap. It is dated 17th century and we acquired it in 1971. Its medium is silk embroidery on linen foundation, linen needle lace and its technique is embroidered on plain weave, needle lace. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The decoration on this cap, found only on the lower edge and the single seam, accents its simple design. Wigs were commonly worn in public in the seventeenth century, and many men had shaved heads. When the wig was removed, nightcaps were worn to protect the head from drafty interiors, even during the day. They were thought of as protective accessories, and some literature even recommended stitching herbs into the cap for prevent illness. A woman probably made this nightcap for a member of her household. Needlework was an important part of the education and activities of women in the seventeenth century, even for the queen. The maker decorated this cap with alternating bands of embroidery and lace in geometric designs and a vine pattern, likely copied from a pattern book.

This object was bequest of Marian Hague. It is credited Bequest of Marian Hague.

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 23.5 x 17.8 cm (9 1/4 x 7 in.)

Cite this object as

Nightcap (England), 17th century; silk embroidery on linen foundation, linen needle lace; H x diam.: 23.5 x 17.8 cm (9 1/4 x 7 in.); Bequest of Marian Hague; 1971-50-115

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18474003/ |title=Nightcap (England), 17th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>