Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Late Eighteenth Century Christening Cape

I bought this at auction here in Scotland some time ago. Having loved it and looked at it for a while, I've decided to sell it - so I'm listing it on the Scottish Home this week. It is a very late eighteenth century christening cape which was made by one Elizabeth Ann Barlow, who died in 1829. She made it herself, this wonderful tiny 'sprigging' - a myriad of little flowers, including pinks and rosebuds and violas - for her babies and for her descendents. It is kind of sad that it ended up in the saleroom but I think it's wonderful and am hoping that somebody will buy it who also thinks it is wonderful and who may be able to conserve it and display it in the right setting. It would have served to keep a baby warm - being worn over the light lacy baby gowns of the period. An expert has confirmed to me that it is an eighteenth century piece, but 'only just' - ie it dates from the very late 1700s, and probably looks forward in style to nineteenth century christening capes, ie Elizabeth was ahead of her times! I considered keeping it because I am currently writing a novel called The Physic Garden about a gardener and a baby from exactly this period or just a little later, but all the same, it is probably time for it to go elsewhere, and be properly cared for!

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