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Painting of Margaret Mulshoo by Michael Perry, commissioned for The Queen's Servants

Painting of Margaret Mulshoo by Michael Perry, commissioned for The Queen's Servants

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• Original artwork by Michael Perry
• Pencil and acrylic on artboard
• 15ins (38cm) x 11ins (28cm)
• Signed by the artist
• Made exclusively for The Tudor Tailor

This artwork by Michael Perry was specially commissioned by the Tudor Tailor and features in the book The Queen’s Servants: gentlewoman’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII. The book offers a detailed insight into women’s dress at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It paints a vivid picture of the styles of dress worn at Henry VII’s and Henry VIII’s courts, using evidence from a variety of sources.

The Tudor Tailor specially commissioned a series of paintings which bring to life specific women included in the book, based on garments provided for them as part of their positions in the Tudor court. All of the paintings were carried out in pencil and acrylic on art board with items that were assumed but not listed in the documents being depicted in pencil only.

This particular painting depicts Margaret Mulshoo, chamberer to Katherine of Aragon in 1516. To be a chamberer of a queen could be the first step in a very rewarding career for a woman of gentle birth at this time. The names of many of these ladies appear in later records in more prestigious contexts, either receiving a gift of clothing such as might mark marriage or particular favour, or being listed as one of the queen’s or princesses’ gentlewomen.

The clothing provided for the gentlewomen who attended on Henry VIII’s first queen was noticeably more lavish than that issued to the queen’s ladies during the reign of Henry VII. The painting of Margaret depicts her wearing the livery issued to her in October 1516: a gown of damask lined with calaber (red squirrel) and edged with mink, which cost the great wardrobe £9 9s.

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