Room 52b: Spitalfields Silks & Taking Tea

Dress fabric, England, about 1733. Museum no. T.837-1974

Dress fabric, England, about 1733. Museum no. T.837-1974

This room has an interesting combination of objects relating to tea-drinking in the mid 17th century as well as the development of silk-weaving in Spitalfields, London. New furniture and equipment for tea-drinking were initially copies of Chinese designs and decoration but many original English designs soon developed. Spitalfields weavers produced plain and patterned fabrics, with new designs every season. Dress silks were woven in limited lengths to preserve their exclusivity. The designs though influenced by French fashions soon developed a distinctive English style characterised by naturalism and clarity in design and colouring.

Room 52b is on Level 2 of the V&A South Kensington.

Check the gallery closures page

Objects you can find in this gallery:

International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

Find out more

Shop online

Feathers Silk Collar by Cleo Ferin Mercury

Feathers Silk Collar by Cleo Ferin Mercury

Cleo Ferrin Mercury's elegant, witty designs in silk take inspiration from the Surrealist fashion of the 1930s and 1940s. This delicate silk collar is…

Buy now

Event - A World to Win. Posters of Protest and Revolution

Thu 01 May 2014–Sun 02 November 2014

DISPLAY: From the 'Votes for Women' campaigns of the early 20th century to the recent 'Occupy'
movements, political activists around the world have used posters to mobilise, educate and organise.

Book online