A glove worn by Queen Elizabeth I and a pair of gloves worn in the Star Wars films are to go on show as part of a new display, Glove Stories, at the Fashion Museum in Bath.
The display, featuring one of the best collections of gloves in the world, will showcase examples of historical gloves from the past 400 years, many of which have never been on show to the public before.
Highlights will include:
- Exquisitely embroidered gauntlet gloves from the 1620s.
- Queen Elizabeth I’s Coronation Glove: this unique glove was worn by the new young queen at a day-long coronation ceremony in January 1559. It is one of the treasures of Dents Museum and Archive collection, rarely seen on public display (on show from July 2019).
- Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Glove: the original glove worn by Her Majesty the Queen during her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in June 1953. This historic glove will be on display from July 2019; on display alongside will be an identical copy. This is the ‘spare’ made in case of accidents on the day. And this is the first time that the two single gloves have ever been displayed together.
- A replica of the Coronation Glove worn by Queen Victoria.
- A Limerick glove originating in Ireland from the 1830s: these gloves, favoured by Queen Victoria, were made of such fine leather that they could be rolled up and kept in a walnut.
- The Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage-driving gloves (1990s) made of doeskin leather from the Balmoral estate.
- A pair of Star Wars gloves worn by actor Mark Hamill when battling extreme temperatures and the Wampa ice monster in the snowy wastes of Planet Hoth in the opening scenes of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
- A Soviet Cosmonaut’s glove, worn in 1986 by Colonel Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Volkov.
- A pair of ‘Multi-Terrain’ Pattern Combat Gloves, worn during Operation Herrick in Afghanistan in 2012/2013 by the Logistic Support Team Commander for the 1st Battalion Scots Guards Battlegroup, based in FOB (Forward Operating Base) OULLETTE.
Glove Stories will see 150 pairs and single gloves woven throughout the A History of Fashion in 100 Objects exhibition, showcasing the breadth and depth of The Glove Collection.
Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, said: “Glove Stories is a celebration of the long-standing relationship between the Fashion Museum and The Worshipful Company of Glovers of London. The Company has most generously loaned their superb Glove Collection to the Museum since the 1980s.
“For some years now we have been conscious that different gloves in the Collection have been housed in different locations. So, two years ago we set about bringing all the gloves in the Collection together under one roof at the Fashion Museum in Bath, so that they can be more easily presented on display and brought to the attention of a wider audience.
“The display will feature groups of gloves and will focus on uncovering unique and different stories, while also celebrating the incredible craftsmanship and skills involved in this often overlooked area of fashion along the way.”
Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration at Bath & North East Somerset Council, which runs the museum, added: “”We look forward to showcasing this amazing collection of gloves at the Fashion Museum, and hope that the display will attract a wide range of visitors, from fashion fans to Star Wars enthusiasts.
“As always, entrance to the Fashion Museum will be free for local Discovery Card holders.”
Glove Stories shines a light on the British glove industry. At one time there were hundreds of glove makers across Britain, centred in the towns and villages of Somerset, Dorset and West Wiltshire.
A key element of the Glove Collection of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London is the Spence Collection, a grouping of over 100 single gloves and pairs of mainly 17th century gloves, all carefully collected by artist Robert Spence. Spence trained at the Slade School of Art and collected historical gloves to inform his own artwork.
A Quaker and pacifist, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his work as an ambulance driver during the Great War. Spence donated his collection of gloves to the Worshipful Company in 1959.
The Worshipful Company of Glovers of London was formed in 1349 by glove makers in London who wished to protect the high standard of their craft and was granted its Royal Charter by King Charles I in 1638. The Livery collection is now cared for and housed at the Fashion Museum.