In past centuries, the color purple was associated with royalty or wealthy individuals as purple dyes were rare and expensive. The dyes were often made from shellfish or insects which, by the 16th century, were imported into Europe from Latin America. A synthetic purple dye was not invented until 1856 when William H. Perkins discovered a chemical mix while seeking a cure for malaria.
Place object was created: Great Britain
velvet, silk, wool (textile)Museum Purchase: Auxiliary Costume Fund and Exchange Funds from the Gift of Harry and Mary Dalton 2003.123.4A-C
Not currently on view