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En svensk verkstad för utländska lyxvaror: De kungliga pärlstickarna vid Gustav I:s hov 1523-1560
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History, Textile Studies.
2013 (Swedish)In: Historisk Tidskrift (S), ISSN 0345-469X, Vol. 133, no 4, 587-620 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Producing foreign splendor in domestic workshops: The royal embroiderers at the court of King Gustav I Vasa of Sweden 1523-1560

A European Renaissance monarch was expected to live up to the standards of his peers. Dressed in rich apparel the regent aimed to create an image of magnificent kingship. In order to accommodate the need for opulent dress, it was necessary to have access to artisans working in different specialist trades. One such specialist trade was the embroiderers. This article investigates the work made in the Swedish royal embroidery workshop during the reign of King Gustav I (r. 1523-1560). Research questions focus on the production of embroidered dress. The number of artisans, their background and the organization of work are studied in relation to the clothes described in royal inventories and wardrobe accounts. The rise of a large royal embroidery workshop emerged gradually during the near 40 year-reign of Gustav I. The recruitment of foreign artisans, mainly from Germany and France, is seen in the growing numbers of embroiderers employed at court. The skills of these foreign artisans were passed on to Swedish apprentices in the workshop. By the time of the King's death, in 1560, more than ten embroiderers were employed on a full time basis. The workshop had then approached its peak in terms of size and would only increase slightly during the reign of Gustav's son Erik XIV. An overview of embroidered dress belonging to the members of the royal family 1539-1559 shows shifts in the use of different types of garments and embroidery techniques. The clothes described both in inventories and wardrobe accounts correspond to contemporary portraiture. This indicates that the Swedish royal embroidery workshop had capacity to supply the Vasa court with fashionable outfits. Furthermore, there is no evidence of imported garments having been more than a supplement to domestic production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 133, no 4, 587-620 p.
Keyword [en]
textile studies, royal wardrobe, costume, fashion, embroidery, craftsmen, artisan, Gustav Vasa, conspicuous consumption
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Textile Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224442ISI: 000336234900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-224442DiVA: diva2:716782
Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-05-12 Last updated: 2014-07-02Bibliographically approved

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