Hilary Kaye of Antiques Roadshow racked her brains when a never-before-seen collection of Elizabethan textiles dating back 500 years appeared on her table during a shoot at Wolaton Hall in Nottingham. did.

His discovery, which included the bedspread and two pillowcases on which Elizabeth I and her ladies had been waiting, was guided by “extremely rare” ivory silk satin sleeves and sleeve supports.

These items belonged to the Wolraton family, who built Wolraton Hall in 1588, and had no known examples of sleeve supports until they were discovered.


Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh inspect a work of 1863 Derby winner Macaroni by French sculptor Pierre Jules Menet at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast during the filming of The Antiques Roadshow.

The sleeve support, known as the farthing galle sleeve, remains nearly intact along with the satin sleeve that originally supported it, says the BBC programme.

Author and lecturer Kay adds:

“It’s a very exciting moment to face a 16th-century object in incredible condition.”

Meanwhile, textile historian Niña Mihaira, also known as Tudor Tailor, puts it this way:

“We knew of these garments from documentary descriptions, such as those made for Queen Elizabeth I and recorded in the Royal Wardrobe accounts, but we were unaware of any surviving examples. I didn’t think about it at all.

“The sleeves are not only a very rare relic of 16th-century English dress, but they also provide an opportunity to see examples of once-common materials such as fustiane, which are hardened outside the royal wardrobe. mustache.


Image from a handout published by the National Portrait Gallery, London (Queen Elizabeth I in The Ditchley Portrait), Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (National Portrait Gallery/Pennsylvania)

A replica of the sleeve is too rare to be modeled, so it was made for scholars to study and placed in safe storage.

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The sleeves of the farthing gale are made of a thick cotton material called fustiane, and are sewn with 14 pieces of linen casing each containing a whisker hoop, also known as a whalebone.

It was used to support the very large gown sleeves worn by Queen Elizabeth I in Ditchley’s portrait in the National Gallery.

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