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Silk nightcap

Silk velvet man's nightcap, about 1640–60

Silk velvet man's nightcap, about 1640–60

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This nightcap is made from velvet richly embroidered in metal threads with pomegranates, a symbol of fertility. Wealthy men when in the privacy of their own homes wore nightcaps, a form of informal dress or dishabille.

This example is said to have belonged to Major Hugh Buntine. Buntine joined General Leslie’s army during the Civil Wars, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645 after which Oliver Cromwell made him Muster-Master of the Horse in Scotland.

However, he must have maintained some sympathy towards the Stuarts as he assisted General George Monck with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. In 1670 Buntine purchased the Orchard estate, including Law Castle, in Kilbride. A couple of years later in 1672 an act of parliament granted ‘in favour of Major Hugh Buntine, his heirs and assignees whatsoever, heritable and irredeemably, of all and whole the lands and barony of Kilbride’. This is the latest acquisition of the Trustees of Sir William Burrell, purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund from Christies in 2006.

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