[HNW] Re:Elizabethan slips questions

Rachel rachel_holliday at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Feb 17 03:07:37 PST 2003

Ok I've combined these two questions for ease of reply.

> Is there any information on how they decided the shadings?
> Were the shadings ever indicated by lines or painted on?  and does there seem to
> be any "standard" number of shades (like, always three shades, or four shades)
> per color?

The only design element of the slip is the drawing onto the linen itself.  Pretty much all of the
slips that you come across come from a book, whether its a herbal, beastary or emblem book they
all have a source.  As these drawings are woodcuts with no colouring the embroiderer made the
judgement as to shading and colours as they went along.  Often it would be entirely dependent on
what they happened to have at the time.  It is in the colour and style of shading that you tend to
see the greatest differences and it is often possible to put pieces together that were done by one
person becuase they had a particular way of going about their work.  The only rule for Elizabethan
slips seems to have been that they are usually outlined in black, where possible colours near to
the living example of what it is they are stitching (if they've ever seen one) are used, but
really after that it's a bit of a free for all.

> Yes, I saw you listed in the MEDATS newsletter, Rachel.  Wish I could attend!
> I do have a sort of general question:  how common was the use of slips?

If I ever get round to it I will post a copy of the speech on my website (when I launch it!).

Slips are commonly used as domestic decoration on furnishings.  I've not seen nor seen any records
of them being used elsewhere.  They tended to be used for cushions and bed handings such as
valences and headcloths.  Not seen examples of their use anywhere else.  The exception to this
rule being the Oxburgh hangings, which while larger are still done in the same technique.
Although the original use is still being speculated about.

Does that help?



Tudor Bibliography

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