The aim with this study is to focus on a small branch of the Swedish East India Company’s dealing in fabrics used for handkerchiefs. Observations from my earlier research related to Carl Linnaeus and his “Apostles”, a hand-written Swedish account book from one of the Company’s ships and preserved pieces of cloth will give some evidence for such goods. 18th century handkerchiefs seem overall to have been an accessory that was worn out – the most natural cause for its rarity – or dropped, used for various purposes as collecting insects/plants, given away or even stolen according to notations in some travelling accounts and journals from the 1740s to 1760s.
Map of Cadix, Dagbok hållen p. Resan till Ost Indien, Begynt den 18 octobr: 1746 och Slutad den 20 Juni 1749, Carl Johan Gethe. Stockholm, National Library of Sweden, M 280, p. 29. This map, illustrated in the East India traveller Carl Johan Gethe’s journal (1746-1749), is of the ideally sheltered harbour of the city of Cadix, where many of the Swedish East India Company ships lay at anchor in order to replenish their stores and carry out trade. The Linnaeus’ apostle Olof Torén’s first voyage stopped over there in 1748; the apostles Pehr Osbeck (1750) and Christopher Tärnström (1746) spent several months in Cadix and its environs on their way to China.
18th century handkerchiefs are sometimes mentioned in contemporary hand-written letters, travel journals or account books connected to the Swedish East India Company trade.
Continue reading “T” for Trade: 18th century Handkerchiefs – The Swedish East India Company Trade. Viveka Hansen, Textile Historian, The IK Foundation, (UK)
Creoles take a lot of chocolate and atole but much better than the one made by the Indians.” (Translated from Jean de Monségur, 1709, chap. VII)
De español y negra, mulata, Casta painting, Andrés de Islas, 1774, oil on canvas, 75 x 54 cm. Madrid, Museo de América, Inv. 1980/03/04
De español y negra, mulata, Casta painting, Anonym, Mexico, c. 1775-1800, oil on copper, 36 x 48 cm. Madrid, Museo de América, Inv. 00053
Trading networks among Europe, Asia and America modified the habits of Europeans. Many patterns of consumption were the result of centuries of relations between East and West. The colonizers of territories determined the distribution of certain products and exotic luxuries were selectively adopt, from their indigenous origins to their worldwide consumption.
Continue reading “N” for New Habits: New Goods from the New World. Nadia Fernández de Pinedo, Associate Professor at the Department of Economic Studies, Universidad Autonóma, Madrid
La dentelle, un des premiers produits d’exportation des Pays-Bas du Sud, était envoyée par voie de terre et de mer pour fournir toute l’Europe et, via Cadix et Séville, habiller les élégances des Indes occidentales. Cette exportation, vitale pour son économie, était évidemment encouragée : les dentelles étaient libres de sortie.
Portrait of a lady, Miguel de Herrera, 1782, oil on canvas, 125 x 101 cm. Mexico, Franz Mayer Museum Collection
Continue reading “L” for Lace: The variation of Taxation Schemes for Lace Import in the Ancien Regime. Marguerite Coppens, Honorary Curator Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels. Honorary Chair of the French Association of Textiles Studies (AFET), Paris
Shoes were invented 40.000 years ago. Presumably for protection against extreme cold, hot or rocky surfaces and poisonous animals and plants, but shoes became much more than a simple garment for protection. It also became a tool for social survival.
Continue reading “S” for Shoes: A gendered shoe from 17th century-Copenhagen. Vivi Lena Andersen, Curator and Archaeologist at the Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark
e et XVIII e siècles, la paramentique est souvent l’affaire des couvents même si dans les grandes villes, des tailleurs et brodeurs proposent des vêtements liturgiques. Les pieuses fidèles alimentent régulièrement les monastères par des dons de robes et d’étoffes variées, souvent de belle qualité mais passées de mode. Une autre source de matière première est le trousseau des jeunes filles qui abandonnent le monde pour la paix du cloître. Lorsqu’elles sont bien nées, le trousseau est à la hauteur de la condition familiale et l’ouvroir monastique a tôt fait de transformer les beaux atours en de non moins belles chasubles. Continue reading “R” for Recycling Brocaded Silk, from Profane to Sacred. Bernard Berthod, Dr ès Lettres, Curator Musée de Fourvière (Lyon), Vice-Chair of ICOM-Costume Committee
Lyon in the south-east of France was by the late 17
th century the silk-weaving capital of Europe, its products ranging from simple, lightweight plain silks to elaborate brocaded silks woven with silver and gold. It was to these patterned silks that the city owed its reputation, as designers created new ranges of patterns seasonally, thus outdating silks woven to the previous season’s designs. The frontispiece commissioned for the final volume of the inventory of the papers of the silk weaving guild in the late 18 th century suggests that these silks sold on four continents, including in the Americas. ‘As long as extravagance reigns, the manufacture will survive’, proclaimed the legend on the drawing. Continue reading “L” IS FOR LYON. THE MARKETING AMBITIONS OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH MERCHANT MANUFACTURERS, OR WHERE DID ALL THE LYONNAIS SILKS GO? LESLEY MILLER, SENIOR CURATOR OF TEXTILES, VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON/PROFESSOR OF DRESS AND TEXTILE HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
In the pre-Columbian times the woman’s outer garment was the mantle, or the
manta. The mantle (Spanish: Manta, Quechua: Lliclla) of the pre-Columbian Inca ladies was a square textile, which was held together with a pin in the front. This garment was for many centuries the favourite over garment all over Peru. It was in classic times woven in alpaca wool on an upright loom, but was later also sewn together from two rectangular textiles woven on the back strap loom. Continue reading “M” for MANTA. Lena Bjerregaard, Conservator, Guest Researcher, Centre for Textile Research/SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen
A stunning yellow moiré dress from the early 18
th century is conserved in the collection of the National Museum of History in Mexico City. This dress consists of two parts: a bodice that closes at the front, and a skirt that was probably worn with a small panier underneath. Both of them were tailored with a fabric that was intentionally cut and sewn in order to symmetrically place the metal brocade motives throughout the dress. On the inside, the bodice possesses a fine, bright pink lining. Continue reading “Y” for Yellow Moiré silk Dress. Laura G. García-Vedrenne, M Phil student in Textile Conservation, Centre for Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow
According to the 1803 dictionary of the Real Academia Española,
gandaya meant both ‘type of hair bonnet’ and ‘mischievous, idle, free living’. No scholar has ever paid attention to the relationship between these two meanings and the majismo. The gandaya was a headdress usually knitted, colourful and, depending on the wearer’s wealth, made of silk. It was characterized by a lavish hanging tasselled ‘tail’ that swayed loosely following the movements of whoever wore it, captivating everyone’s attention. Not surprisingly, majos borrowed this accessory (originally a Catalan-Valencian adornment, therefore autochthonous) for the essential mise-en-scène of their ‘figure’. Continue reading “H” for Headdress: The Gandaya, a colourful silk knitted bonnet in Global-Spain. Victoria de Lorenzo, MA alumni at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum, London
To the anonymous mannequins standing in fashion plates, the Bonnarts rapidly added portraits of high- ranking people from the Court. Repeating the same formal codes, these “portraits in mode” speculated on the celebrity of people from the Court, by adding to the stereotype image of a young and elegant man the name of a well-known person from the Court entourage. Praising their appearances and their “beauty”, these images were also a way for the merchants, who were selling them, to compliment and flatter the sitter.
Continue reading “R” for Refashioning Fashion Plates in Early Modern Europe. Pascale Cugy & Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset
Les quatre frères Bonnart, nés entre 1637 et 1654 à Paris, sont particulièrement célèbres pour leurs images de vêtements, produites en grande quantité à partir des années 1680 et considérées comme les premières estampes à pouvoir vraiment prétendre au titre de « gravures de mode ». Ces centaines de planches de même format, gravées à l’eau-forte et au burin, très stéréotypées dans leur présentation, sont depuis longtemps perçues comme une chronique des apparences du règne de Louis XIV.
Continue reading “N” for Night Gown: The Informal Gown of a Lady Wear. A customized fashion plate circa 1700: Dame de la Cour en « déshabillé négligé ». Pascale Cugy, Docteur in History of Art, University of Paris-Sorbonne
Discovered in a box in the Church of Santa Clara de Asís, California, a group of about one hundred pieces including liturgical vestments and related items from the Mission era, today represents the most important part of the historical collection in the de Saisset Museum next to the Mission Church on the campus of Santa Clara University. As in similar collections in the other Missions (twenty one in total) in California, the liturgical vestments encompass different styles, mainly 18
th-19 th century French, Italian, Spanish, and also Chinese. Continue reading “E” for Embroidery: Mission Style in Alta California. Mariachiara Gasparini, Adjunct Lecturer, Art & Art History department, Santa Clara University, California
With a population of between 6 and 8 million in 1700, larger than the Netherlands, Denmark, or England, the Spanish colonies in the Americas constituted a vast, wealthy market for a wide variety of European textiles. Despite local colonial production of woollen and cotton fabrics, Spanish American consumers were heavily reliant on European manufacturers, especially for higher quality textiles. Few of these textiles were manufactured in Spain. By the end of the 17
th century, over 90% of the manufactured goods exported in the annual fleets which sailed from Cadiz originated outside Spain. The textiles smuggled into Spanish America from the neighbouring American colonies of other European powers, such as British Jamaica or Dutch Curaçao, were even more likely to have a non-Spanish origin. Continue reading “W” for Wool: War and Worsteds / Words and Things. Exploring the market for woollen textiles in early-modern Spanish America. John Styles, Research Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Besides, the consumption of all sorts of silk fabrics should be seen in Mexico as the main point of its commerce; clergy men, gentlemen, merchants, bourgeois, artisans, craftsmen and even Africans and mulatto, they all dress in silk for most part of the year. Therefore Spain, together with France, should focus firmly on this trade in order to rectify the deterioration in the situation due to the introduction of silk from China to Mexico.” (Translated from Jean de Monségur, 1709, chap. XXXVII)
Miguel de Herrera, Portrait of a lady (wearing a stomacher on the front of the bodice), 1782, oil on canvas, 125 x 101 cm. Mexico, Franz Mayer Museum Collection
Court dresses from the Eighteenth-century were made with extremely luxurious materials, and possessed three essential parts: a train, a rigid bodice, and a skirt (commonly called
petticoat) that had to be used with a panier underneath. This type of dresses is usually defined by its function because court dress was worn in the presence of the royal couple. In the case of the New Spain, it is likely that it was used in front of the viceroys. However, more research is needed because formal dress could also be seen in important city celebrations, weddings, taking of vows, etc. Continue reading “C” for Court Dress: An elaborate masterpiece made of green silk velvet, 1780-1790. Laura G. García-Vedrenne, Conservator, National Museum of History, Mexico