Collection Online

Coif
(early 17th century)

Artist/s name
Medium
linen, silk (thread), gilt-metal (thread, spangles)
Measurements
86.5 cm (outer circumference) 23.8 cm (height) 22.8 cm (width)
Place/s of Execution
(England)
Accession Number
D152-1977
Department
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1977
Gallery location
NGV Kids Gallery
Ground Level, NGV International
About

Covering the head when both indoors and outside was considered important for modesty and health. While women of all classes wore close-fitting coifs, embroidered versions, either made at home or purchased ready-made, were fashionable among the upper classes between the 1590s and 1620s. This cap is decorated with silver gilt filé and yellow silk floss in a combination of braid, chain, Cretan and double-running stitches. The repeat pattern of three large stylised flowers, including roses and borage, is interspersed with applied metal thread spiders’ webs and once-shiny sequins.

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)