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Tudor Silver-Gilt Dress-hooks: A New Class of Treasure Find in England

  • David Gaimster, Maria Hayward, David Mitchell and Karen Parker
Extract

This paper combines a study of the typological, technological and constructional attributes of a sample of fifteen dress-hooks and cap-hooks, reported between 1998 and 2000 under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996), with a survey of contemporary pictorial sources, probate inventories and associated wills along with a trawl of ‘small wares’ in the records of the Goldsmiths' Company in order to assess the role of these accessories in vernacular dress of sixteenth-century England.

Of particular interest are questions of manufacture and design, followed by the questions of how these objects functioned in relation to the closure and decoration of dress, their noteworthiness in contemporary accounts, their social status, their ranking in the output of contemporary goldsmiths and whether there was a gender bias in terms of their ownership. This cross-examination of excavated finds with contemporary iconographie and documentary sources represents an interdisciplinary case study in historical archaeology.

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References
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The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
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