Garments of Margaretha Franciska Lobkowicz née Dietrichstein (1597—1617) from the holdings of the Regional Museum in Mikulov
In the recent past, the collection of historical clothing in Bohemia and Moravia has been further enriched with a noteworthy and remarkably well preserved artefact – clothing from the coffin of Margaretha Franciska Lobkowicz (1597–1617), who was buried together with her husband Wenzel Wilhelm Lobkowicz (1592–1621) in the crypt of the parish church of St. Wenceslas in Mikulov. In 2003, the Regional Museum in Mikulov obtained the couple’s burial garments following the anthropological examination of the skeletal remains that had been carried out by Eva Drozdová of the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Masaryk University in Brno. Vendulka Otavská undertook the conservation treatment of Margaretha Franciska’s costume; the clothing articles belonging to Wenzel Wilhelm still await conservation.
Margaretha Franciska, the daughter of Sigismund II, Count of Dietrichstein, Underchamberlain of Moravia, and Joanna of Scaligeri, of Verona nobility, was a member of the third generation of the Mikulov branch of the Dietrichstein family. She was recorded up to 1616 as Lady-in-Waiting to Empress Anna, wife of Emperor Matthias. In February 1616, she married and the following year, at the age of twenty, she died giving birth to a son.
The costume of Margaretha Franciska is an outstanding example of early 17th-century women’s clothing that is in a fine state of preservation rarely seen today. Her short life suggests that the garments were made around 1616. The set of textiles comprises an exquisitely tailored bodice and an elaborate formal robe made of hand-cut velvet with hanging sleeves, referred to in Spanish as ropa. Both articles have stiff collars that held intricate lace collars. The bodice sleeves are decorated with fine silk cuffs. It is highly unusual for such accessories to survive. The set is accompanied by a full velvet skirt. The burial outfit includes knitted silk stockings, garters consisting of silk strips adorned with tasselled bobbin lace, ribbons tied in bows (all that has remained of the footwear) and a small pillow filled with long human hair. Margaretha Franciska’s costume typifies the Spanish fashion of the upper strata of society, frequently featured in portraits of her time. This fashion was popular in the Viennese court. Margaretha Franciska’s attire documents the vogue of Spanish clothing popular also among the Moravian nobility.
The set of textiles from the coffin of Margaretha Francisca Lobkowicz will be on view from April through December 2006 in the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague and from January 2007 at the Regional Museum in Mikulov.
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
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Tuesday 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Wednesday — Sunday 10 a.m.—6 p.m.
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