Queen Elizabeth, Hampton Court Palace, London discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio

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When Queen Elizabeth the first died she reportedly owned nearly two thousand dresses four centuries later the only parts of her wardrobe thought have survived were some gloves and riding boots but last week a special exhibit opened at Hampton Court Palace called the loss dress of Elizabeth the first I Larry Lynn found that loss dress but spoiler alert it wasn't address when she discovered it Miss Lynne is the collection's curator of charity called historic royal palaces we reached her in London very when did you first see this dress that you believe belong to Queen Elizabeth I well I I saw it about four years ago now I was researching my book to you to fashion and I came across an image of this object just online I thought well that looks a bit intriguing so I drove to this tiny church in rural Hertfordshire to go and visit but it wasn't address was it no that's right it's actually an Osa cloth so it's a t shaped panel that had been used by family is an also closed for several centuries but they were lots of clues about it that immediately told me that it used to be something else incredible value and rarity at what point looking at this did you think this might be Queen Elizabeth's dress immediately For Lots of reasons the list thing is that I supported evidence of pattern cutting which means evidence that in fact used to be addressed but the second thing was that the embroiled we on it which is beautiful flowers and vegetation. I was as a professional standard that I hadn't ever seen before dating to around the fifty nine he's sick of sixteen hundred in Silken silver and goals and the real clinch was that it was embroidered on cloth silver and shoot at times cloth who is reserved for the immediate members of the Royal Family and actually this particular church was the birthplace and very beloved family home of one blind Josh Parry and Blanche Parry was the first lady of the bedchamber to Elizabeth I and we know that Elizabeth had great affection for her and she gave him me gift of her own clothing we know that Blanche had great affection for her village she gave them lots of charitable donations so all of this seemed to be pointing in one very exciting direction but why isn't it possible that the dress belong to someone else in the court why why specifically do you think Elizabeth I was wearing it well at the time that this stress dates from Elizabeth was nearing seventy years old and in fact she got it very jealously all the finest fabrics and dresses for herself she didn't particularly like having other women it court because she wanted the attention of her male courtiers for her else most of the other women who were allowed to be there were quite elderly ladies all were women who express told to dress down not to incur the wrath of the rather sort of notoriously mercurial queen so it's very unlikely that Elizabeth would have granted permission for anybody nice to one something like it we know in our research the amount of silver in this object with worth as much as a Cheetah mansion so we really are looking at a real Russia oh my gosh so this is one dress of her finger hundreds and thousands in her wardrobe was worth the price of a tutor mention yes absolutely so we know when she died the infantry of her wardrobe listed two thousand items of the most sumptuous luxurious stresses but none of them were known to have survived it's not least because the great storehouse of the Royal Wardrobe was Very famously burns during the great fire of London in sixteen sixty six so the fact that Safai reading makes a unique piece you figure it came to be in this church and Saint Faiths because of Blondes Perry so why did they turned it into an altar cloth value so to turn it into an ulcer cloth it was their way of venerating really to make it a sacred object into value it and now you have restored because it did take work even though it was not bad condition what did it take to actually bring it to the state that it's now that's on display so it's underground A thousand hours of conservation and research so it was in a fairly good state considering age but it had to sort of a backing of canvas which was starting to pull and tear at the silk so we removed the canvas kiffiny stitched onto a new special king but the stitching was done with filaments thread which is roughly the same dimensions as a human hair on with a surgical needles so you can a little bit more about it and we found incredibly tantalizing evidence of global trade for example some of the Don I in the threat was actually next can coach Neil read so this was fantastic evidence of luxury commodities being traded across the Atlantic for the first time what was it like for I think for all of us involved as a real labor of love and a real privilege because the artistry of the embroidery is such that you never tire of looking at it actually I can even after four years I can stand there and look at it and see a new detail admire the artistry all over again now it's hanging in Hampton Court Palace how does it look do you know what it looks better than I've ever seen it so it's in a case with case lights it somebody referred to it as Cheetah Hive is which is not exactly glamorous but most of the court would be wearing black velvet so to be wearing this kind of fantastically embroidered cloths fills for you to be no doubtedly looking at the Queen there is a great story and I appreciate you telling it to us thank you thank you so much bye i Larry Lynn is the collection curator of a charity called historic Royal Palaces we reached her at hand in court palace in London and if you want to see photos of the draft you can go to our website go to CBC dot Ca Slash Aih.

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