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James, Duke of York (1633-1701)., Henric Gascar, 1672-3.
This stunning highly coloured Baroque portrait is of James, Duke of York, who was Lord High Admiral for his elder brother, Charles II, from the latter's restoration to the throne in 1660 until 1673. This position is indicated by the depiction of the fleet in the background, with the Duke's flagship 'Royal Prince', 100 guns, shown prominently at anchor. On the right a page, traditionally thought to be the young John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, is dressed in a similar manner to the Duke and holds a plumed helmet of Franco-Roman design.
The Duke was in personal command of the fleet at the victory over the Dutch off Lowestoft in 1665 and again at the Battle of Solebay in 1672, which this portrait may commemorate. Solebay was the last occasion in which a member of the British royal family personally commanded a fleet in action. James was an experienced and brave soldier by land and sea, and extremely interested and diligent in the administration of the Navy. He then succeeded Charles as King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1685.
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The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, is the leading maritime museum in the UK and one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, and also incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen's House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and the Cutty Sark.
Greenwich has long been associated with the sea and navigation. The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, it has also long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set clocks according to its time of day. The Museum has the most significant collection in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art (both British and 17th-century Dutch), cartography, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational instruments, and instruments for time-keeping and astronomy.
Macclesfield Printed Silk - Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our silk pocket squares are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
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