Stomacher (England), late 17th or early 18th century
This is a Stomacher. It is dated late 17th or early 18th century and we acquired it in 1984. Its medium is linen, silk, metallic (metal foil-wrapped silk core) and its technique is plain weave linen foundation, embroidered on the front with couching stitches; trimmed with applied silk ribbon and woven metal trim, needle lace rose; backed with a block-printed linen lining printed with a pigment; ribs of unidentified material. It is a part of the Textiles department.
This woman’s stomacher is nearly covered in rich silver metallic thread embroidery. At the top is a red and white rose tied with a bow, possibly a Tudor Rose, heraldic symbol of England. Worn with an open robe, it covered the V-shaped opening by pinning or stitching the green tabs to keep it in place, a time-consuming process. Silver threads were laid horizontally over the stomacher, and a series of stepped couching stitches secured the metal threads to the linen foundation while creating a surface pattern. The central panel terminates at the bottom in an arrowhead shape while three tabs lie on either side of it – a remnant from late 17th century fashion. Stomachers often were made in colors or patterns that contrasted with that of open robe, serving more as an accessory. In this case, silver embroidery made the stomacher easily interchangeable with other robes and functioned much like jewelry.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 37.5 × 26 cm (14 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)
It is inscribed
Inscribed in dark brown ink on upper left edge on the front, "Queen Mary".
Cite this object as
Stomacher (England), late 17th or early 18th century; linen, silk, metallic (metal foil-wrapped silk core); H x W: 37.5 × 26 cm (14 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.); 1984-106-1