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Herald's Tabard

This tabard is appliquéd with embroidered motifs forming the coat of arms of Queen Anne (reigned 1702-14): the three lions of England and the lion rampant of Scotland quartered with the harp of Ireland and the fleurs-de-lis of France, then claimed by England. The Scottish symbol dates the tabard after 1707, when the parliaments of Scotland and England were combined to form the Parliament of Great Britain.

Artist/maker unknown, English. Worn by Sir Henry St. George (the Younger), British, 1625 - 1715.

Geography:
Made in England, Europe

Date:
1707-1714

Medium:
Silk satin; appliquéd with silk faille with supplementary metallic wefts; silk and metal-wrapped silk embroidery in satin, stem, and seed stitches and couching; metal-wrapped silk braid; metal-wraped silk and metal plate plain weave trim; glass beads

Dimensions:
Length x Width: 36 x 60 inches (91.4 x 152.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1930-28-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Elizabeth Malcolm Bowman in memory of Wendell Phillips Bowman, 1930

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Label:
In medieval times, heralds were messengers who wore tabards (open-sided garments) displaying their masters' arms to be recognized in battle. After heralds were charged with regulating the use of coats of arms, both their position and the garment became ceremonial. This tabard displays the coat of arms of Queen Anne (reigned 1702–14): the three lions of England and the lion rampant of Scotland quartered with the harp of Ireland and the fleurs-de-lis of France, then claimed by England. The Scottish symbol dates the tabard after the 1707 formation of the parliament of Great Britain.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Medieval heralds were messengers who prominently displayed their masters' insignia on their coats to be easily recognized in battle. Because they also helped to identify fallen warriors and organize tournaments, they became knowledgeable about--and gave their name to--the elaborate system of armorial symbols known as heraldry. In England, their expertise was recognized in 1483, when they were incorporated as the Heralds' College, charged with overseeing the use of coats of arms. At about the same time tabards, open-sided overgarments, went out of general use and became fossilized as the ceremonial dress of heralds, still used in Britain today. This tabard is appliquéd with embroidered motifs forming the coat of arms of Queen Anne (reigned 1702-14): the three lions of England and the lion rampant of Scotland quartered with the harp of Ireland and the fleurs-de-lis of France, then claimed by England. The Scottish symbol dates the tabard after 1707, when the parliaments of Scotland and England were combined to form the Parliament of Great Britain. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 85.

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