A request to conserve and display an 18th Century tabard presented several interesting challenges and necessitated some innovative solutions by our textile conservator.
Tabard def. a herald’s official coat emblazoned with the arms of the sovereign (Oxford English Dictionary)
Herald def. an official employed to oversee state ceremonial, precedence, and the use of armorial bearings, and (historically) to make proclamations, carry official messages, and oversee tournaments. (Oxford English Dictionary)
John Ives (1751 – 1776) was made Suffolk Herald of Arms Extraordinary in 1774, this bright raspberry pink garment is his official tabard. Deborah Phipps, textiles conservator, is currently getting it ready for display at Elizabethan House Museum. The first image shows it laid face down while the holes and splits in the lining are supported with dyed, fine Nylon net and polyester thread. While the tabard is flat, localised humidification is taking place to ease some of the hard creases which have formed through the sleeves and down the centre line of both front and back section. The creases are from many years storage prior to coming into the collection.
The Tabard will be on display at Elizabethan House in the spring.