A pair of Sanquhar gloves, dated 1818

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Lot 354
A pair of Sanquhar gloves, dated 1818

Sold for £ 400 (US$ 525) inc. premium
A pair of Sanquhar gloves, dated 1818
With 'G.F.' monogram, worked in a chevron pattern of pale blue and cream wool; together with a pair of Chinese shoes for bound feet; a knitted Middle Eastern cap and another similar. (6)

Footnotes

  • The knitting industry in Sanquhar, Scotland is traced back to the 16th century, but was at its peak in the late 18th century. As a cottage industry, it was financially supported by the local government and local aristocracy, including the Duke of Queensberry. It was valued for its quality and intricate patterns, mainly found in stockings and gloves. There is no formal record of the industry after the 1830s.

    In 1807, Thomas Brown recorded in his Union Gazetteer for Great Britain and Ireland, "The [Sanquhar knitting] trade is the oldest, and was formerly more considerable than at present, though the fabric is both curious and serviceable and almost peculiar to the place. The knitters, by the dexterous use of two threads, produce a substance resembling an outside and a lining. Most of the items are parti-coloured and of great variety of patterns."

Saleroom notices

  • Please note: It is now thought that these gloves may be of Yorkshire Dales or Cumbrian origin, rather than Sanquhar, as the pattern cannot be traced. The colours are more subtle than most Sanquhar examples. 'The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales' by Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby discusses knitting in this area: 'For centuries, hand knitting was a way of life for the dalesfolk of Yorkshire and Cumbria. They knitted as they drove the cattle to the fields, as they walked to market, and as they gossiped and sang around the fire on winter evenings. The few pennies they earned from making stockings, jerseys, caps and bonnets were a vital source of extra income. Today little remains of the industry except the spinning galleries of old Westmorland and the carved wooden knitting sticks found in museums and private collections.'
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A pair of Sanquhar gloves, dated 1818
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