Embroidered nightcap for the Burrell Collection

  • 17 October 2006

A beautifully embroidered mid-17th century nightcap is the latest addition to the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, thanks to a grant from The Art Fund.

The piece was bought at auction in July by the Trustees of the Burrell Collection. This week it will go on display with other examples of embroidered costume in the needlework room.

The nightcap is made from six panels of dark red silk velvet and lavishly embroidered with stylised pomegranate motifs worked in metal threads and scattered metal spangles. It was the fashion of the time for wealthy gentlemen to wear nightcaps when at home in the evenings.

The nightcap joins two others of historical importance at the Burrell Collection: one of embroidered pink silk that may have belonged to Charles II when he was Prince of Wales, and another of embroidered linen that Oliver Cromwell may have worn.

The new acquisition has its own history. It belonged to Major Buntine, who fought on both sides during the Civil Wars, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Philiphaug, where he fought in the Covenanters Army. As a result, Oliver Cromwell made him Master of the Horse for Scotland, and Buntine was part of the envoy sent to ask Charles II to return to Scotland.

Related links:

The Burrell Collection