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Harvey Miller

The Inventory of King Henry VIII: Textiles and Dress

M. Hayward, P. Ward (eds.)
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XVII+366 p., 41 b/w ill. + 148 colour ill., 215 x 275 mm, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-905375-42-4
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 170,00 excl. tax
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Winner of the British Art Book Prize 2014 awarded by the Historians of British Art

The Inventory is not only a catalogue of magnificence but also a key text for evaluating the successes and failures of the Tudor monarchy under Henry VIII, telling us what once existed, and enabling us to identify surviving objects.

This is the first of three volumes of commentary to be published, which will consist of twenty-four essays written by the leading experts on Tudor art and artefacts and which will discuss the principal categories recorded in the Inventory in their historical and archaeological context. Among the subjects covered in Volume II are the tapestry collection of Henry VIII, accounts of the tents and revels, which provided the settings and costumes for court entertainments, and the Great Wardrobe, which served as a warehouse for the King’s large and valuable stores of textiles, and a study of the vestments and textiles associated with royal worship. Altogether, the essays in this volume combine the histories of material culture, religion, politics and ceremony in a unique way that would not have been possible before the establishment of the Inventory Project twenty years ago.

The essays are richly illustrated, with many of the plates in colour and where possible, images of surviving pieces have been included. Volume II will be followed by two further volumes, entitled Arms, Armour and Ordnance and Decorative Arts and Everyday Objects.

Table of Contents

Maria Hayward, Introduction: textiles and dress at the court of Henry VIII;

Thomas Campbell, The Art and Splendour of Henry VIII’s Tapestry Collection;

Maria Hayward, Dressed to Impress: Henry VIII’s wardrobe and his equipment for horse, hawk and hound;

Maria Hayward, Temporary Magnificence: the offices of the tents and revels in the 1547 inventory;

Donald King, From the Exotic to the Mundane: carpets and coverings for tables, cupboards, window seats and floors;

Santina Levey, The Broderers’ Work;

David Mitchell, ‘One Coverpane of Fine Diaper of the Saluatcion of our Ladie’: napery for tables and linens for beds;

Lisa Monnas, ‘Plentie and Abundaunce’: Henry VIII’s valuable stores of textiles;

Lisa Monnas, The Splendour of Royal Worship;

Elspeth Veale, From Sable to Mink


"This volume serves as a rich evocation and discussion of "Textiles and Dress" at the court of Henry VIII. (...) These are significant contributions to Henrician studies and one looks with anticipation to the publication of the forthcoming companion volumes in this enriching series."

Robert E. Scully, SJ (Le Moyne College) in: Sixteenth Century Journal XLV/3 (2014)

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Art History (general)
Renaissance art history
Other art forms
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern European history (1501-1800) : local & regional history
British Isles

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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