Date: 1570–80

Culture: European

Medium: silk, metal thread

Credit Line: Gift of Bashford Dean, 1926

Accession Number: 26.196


Working in tandem, curators and conservators combine theory and science to produce a more complete understanding of historical artifacts. Testing on this sixteenth century jerkin by Conservator Christine Paulocik has shown that all of the applied adornment - including the padding at the shoulders, silk tufts, and metallic bobbin lace - is original to the garment. Decorative buttons made of boxwood at center front give the illusion of a closure, when in reality the wearer would have required help getting dressed due to the laced closure located at the center back. The use of boxwood buttons turned on a lathe is consistent with technology and materials of the period. The loss of velvet pile is likely a result of an iron mordant used in the dying process.