I've just had a look and I'm not sure whether the trim is blackwork and then there seem to be pearls and some kind of reddish disc hanging from it. Not sure whether the discs are hammered metal. Sorry not to be of any further help, I'm just not sure!


1 thought on “Hi all. I’m trying to make a replica dress from the famouse Anne Boleyn portrait, but wondered if anyone could help me figure out what the red/black decoration is aaround the neckline of her dress?”

  1. Molly Housego says:

    If you mean the NPG portrait, her shift is indeed trimmed with blackwork and has a black picot edge. The neckline of her kirtle, which appears to the dark or even black like her gown (they will be 2 seperate garments), is what is decorated with goldsmith’s work comprising twin pearls, alternating with a twisted metal gold bead in almost a basketwork design – I suspect they were fashioned from gold wire. You can see that they are almost spherical. I have made a copy of it for a reproduction costume for an event at Blickling Hall this w/e.

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