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November 14, 2020

Presents fit for princes ... and paupers!

Princes' and paupers' doublets for holiday decorations

The holiday season approaches and there is Tudor Tailor inspiration for both the prince and pauper. Limited edition decorations made from cloth of gold and other silk remnants from iconic Tudor Tailor reconstructions are available to grace your Christmas tree and lowly women’s gown fabrics are perfect for dressing up for a (socially distanced) party!

Presents fit for princes ...

A range of handstitched miniature garments, including doublets and bodies in jewel-like colours, has been made in India by a workshop of skilled people, including Sweta Dattani of Araaish Designs. They were inspired by a miniature version of an 18th century coat Ninya made for Coram, the trust responsible for the Foundling Hospital in London. HM the Queen hung it on Coram's christmas tree when she visited in December 2018 (see photo in gallery below). The prototype decorations were designed by intern Naomi Day who dipped into the fabric scrap box at the studio, where she found expensive silk remnants from Jane and Ninya’s days at Hampton Court Palace – and the new cover boy’s jacket featured on the second edition of The King’s Servants. Take a look at the limited editions here. Each one is unique at £24.

... and presents fit for paupers

The remnants from which the mini-Tudor garments are made represent what the three kings might have worn to visit baby Jesus. But something more suitable for the shepherds is also on offer. Lucas de Heere’s 'Chicken woman' (as she is affectionately known by the TT team) in Four citizens’ wives (circa 1574) has been reimagined as the 'Turkey woman' for this festive season (see photo below). Natural woollen cloth is on offer with a pattern for making a gown. The fabric has been woven to order to represent russet – an undyed textile in the natural colour of sheep’s wool, which was typical for ordinary women’s gowns. The combined offer includes the required three yards of white sheep-colour fabric and a full-sized pattern for either a fitted English gown or an early Tudor gown (in a larger or smaller size). The price is £115, which is a saving of 10 per cent on the usual cost. Place your order here now!

A brace of bargain books to buy ...

The TT's final holiday temptation is the combined book offer for the new, improved The King’s Servants and ever-popular The Queen’s Servants, which has been reduced in price to make a great gift – for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other seasonal celebration. The King's Servants now includes additional photographs, improved patterns and an expanded glossary of terms. The two books together usually cost £30 but they are now available for £26. Suggest them for your own wish list or buy them for someone else. Visit the Etsy shop for the special price until 24 December.

The studio shop has undergone a transformation to accommodate all the new stock and provide Melanie our sales manager with a dedicated sales desk. Only Crumble the cat has put her foot – or paw – in it. Visit the Facebook page to see her contribution!

... just one more thing

Sir William Strickland, who sailed on early voyages to the Americas, was credited with bringing the turkey to the UK from the new world in 1526 when he sold them at 2d each. Sir William is depicted - wearing a fabulous ruff - with one of his turkeys on a 16th century coffer, which also features a lowlier man plucking a turkey (with thanks to Celia Jennings for the photo). He was so proud of his innovative import that he even incorporated turkeys into his coat of arms - making him a fit target for Shakespeare in Henry V: ‘Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock’! By 1573, dining on turkey was a popular part of festive tradition, when it was described as ‘Christmas husbandlie fare’ by Thomas Tusser, author of Five hundred points of good husbandry.

Click the gallery thumbnails to view the full images