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Object Name: bodice

Place of Creation: Europe, United Kingdom, England, Dorset
Date: 1655-1660

Accession Number: 2004.96
Location on Display: Gallery of Costume - 1F - The Needle's Excellency
Image Copyright: © Manchester City Galleries

Physical Description

Medium / Material
  • silk
  • satin
  • bead
Support
 
Technique
  • embroidering
Description

Dress bodice in pink silk satin, originally deep salmon pink, but faded. Very finely embroidered with black bugle beads, forming a sophisticated scrolling and curling feather design. Central boned panel with deep busk, ending in narrow curved point below waist level; CF opening, edged in black silk; very low inset short sleeves, pleated into curved shoulder seams; neckline higher to back than front; tabbed graduated waist; fine black bugle beads in overlapping feather design, filling upper front and back portions and finishing with a band of beads at curved seams to sleeves; many beads missing, but design still clear.
Feathers were very rarely used as design inspiration for costume, more often for furnishing textiles - see 1929.316
From the Mansel-Pleydell family in Dorset.
This bodice was exhibited at 25 Park Lane in London from 6-11 March 1928 (number 544) in aid of the Royal Northern Hospital and described as 'A woman's corset bodice of pink satin, embroidered with a design in black bugles. Mid 17th century', and lent by Mrs Mansel Pleydell, Mrs J Arnold Forster and Mrs Pleydell Railston.
Research by Julie Cassels has identified a possible original wearer as Catherine, the wife of Bussy Mansel(1623-99) who was a Welsh political figure who sat in the House of Commons variously from 1653 to his death in 1699. He was a Parliamentarian during the Civil Wars becoming very senior including the High Sheriff of Glamorgan, a member of the High Court of Justice (1651) and Commander of the Militia in South Wales. He survived the Restoration, being elected MP for Cardiff in 1660 and eventually became High Sheriff of Galmorgan again in 1677 and an MP from 1679-81 and 1689-99. He married his first wife, Catherine (widow of Sir Edward Stradling) in 1646, and they had 2 children before 1650. Bussy married again, to Anne, before 1678.