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  The Catalogue: Hawking Glove  
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About this Resource
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Length 285 mm; Width 130 mm
Right-hand glove of red-brown doeskin with an overlaid panel of grey-white kid or dogskin on the upper palm of the hand, curving up to the lower joint of the thumb and index finger and extending the full length of the other three fingers. Lining of white doeskin. The glove is made in two main pieces, a front and a back of the hand, and is lined throughout. The area of the glove usually called the gauntlet curves obliquely outwards and is open from the wrist to the edge of the glove, an opening of some 77 mm. The edge of the glove, but not the gauntlet opening, has a narrow border, 5 mm deep, of pink linen which extends as a lining 70 mm inside the glove. The glove is embroidered with rows of silver-gilt thread held by red silk couching stitches. Six rows of this embroidery form a band which encircles the wrist, and the gauntlet is embroidered with three circular motifs, one at the centre front, one at the centre back, and one on the inside fold. Each motif is 60 mm in diameter, with an edging row of couched blue silk and two inner circles of similar silk between the silver-gilt. Joining motifs together there is a horizontal row of couched metal thread. On the outside edge of the gauntlet, just above the opening, is a small yellow silk tassle with a metal thread waist. On the palm of the hand the overlaid panel of grey-white kid is cut in a curving and looping pattern; the edge of this is embroidered with pink silk couching stitches over linen thread. Just below the little finger there is a small circular motif, similar in design and execution to those on the gauntlet. The linen stitching is sewn to an average of six stitches to the centimetre. The glove is faded and worn, and partly unstitched. The narrow linen band around the edge of the gauntlet is an indication that there was originally some decoration here, possibly fringing or additional rows of metal thread.
This glove may have belonged to either of the two sets mentioned in the 1656 catalogue. The association with Henry VIII seems likely enough: the style and decoration of the glove are consistent with the type of embroidered glove worn in the early sixteenth century. The tradition that this is a hawking glove also seems acceptable. Henry VIII's passion for the sport is well documented, and the glove is suitably constructed for this purpose. In all probability it is one of the items given by royal warrant to the elder Tradescant in 1635.
Museum Id. No:
1656 p. 477: Henry the 8, his Stirrups, Haukes-Hoods, Gloves, or,
1656 p. 49: Henry 8, hawking-glove, hawks-hood, dogs-coller
1685 B no. 228: Chirothecae Henrici 8ti Accipitariae, ex corio confectae, cum quatuor cucullis accipitarijs