Kristin Bundesen, PhD

Early Modern History & Pop Culture Geek

Early Modern History & Pop Culture Geek

"Emblems of Power: Dressing Elizabeth I" with Jane Lawson

If you are anywhere near Atlanta on Thursday, March 1, go to "Emblems of Power: Dressing Elizabeth I" at the Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD, presented by Jane Lawson, editor of The Elizabethan New Year's Gift Exchanges, 1559-1603.

The New Year's gift exchanges were a significant point on the Elizabethan calendar. During the Tudor period, gifts were not exchanged at Christmas. They were exchanged at New Year's. Gifts were frequently items of clothing and accessories. Pairs of sleeves, gowns, brooches all figure prominently in the exchanges.

Elizabeth I, The Rainbow Portrait, In the collection of the  Marquess of Salisbury . On display at  Hatfield House . Hatfield, Hertfordshire. You may notice that there are eyes embroidered across the orange fabric and a snake on the  foreground sleeve.

Elizabeth I, The Rainbow Portrait, In the collection of the Marquess of Salisbury. On display at Hatfield House. Hatfield, Hertfordshire. You may notice that there are eyes embroidered across the orange fabric and a snake on the  foreground sleeve.

For example in 1600, Dorothy Bray Lady Chandos Knollys, Baroness Chandos Knollys gave "one pettycote of white sarcenett, embrothered all over with Venice gold, silver, and silke of dyverse colors like peramydes, with three borders likewise embrothered." 

Men also made gifts of clothing and accessories. In 1579, Sir Thomas Leighton gave the queen a complete gown with sleeves; 'a gowne of blacke vellat, with bodyes and sleaves cut, lyned with white sarceonet, and sett with longe agletts of golde white enamuled.'  This was the first gift exchange after Sir Thomas's marriage to one of the queen's cousins, Elizabeth Knollys - a marriage the queen approved of - even without the gift as a sweetener.

Jane Lawson's work on the Elizabethan gift exchanges puts her in a unique position to provide an overview of Queen Elizabeth I's garments and accessories as well as on the symbolism and sartorial allegory present in these items. Jane's work is always very careful and detailed. She knows her stuff. I am am very sorry to be missing her presentation!

The event is free and open to the public. March 1, 2018 @ 6:30 pm.

 

All rights reserved 2018 Kristin Bundesen