Clothing from beyond the grave

On my recent travels to central and eastern Europe I visited Mikulov castle in the Czech Republic. A beautifully renovated building, it is home to some fantastic 17th Century treasures including clothing recently excavated from the coffins of Margaretha Franciska Lobkowicz (1597-1617) and her husband Wenzel Wilhelm Lobkowicz (1592—1621), who are buried in the crypt of the parish church of St Wenceslas. 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, Masaryk University in Brno. Margaretha was 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 quality of the photos is rather poor due to the dark conditions in which the clothes are preserved.



Doublet detail

Doublet detail

Doublet detail

Stockings and garter

Stockings and garter
Child’s clothing and shoes

For more on 17th Century clothing see here
© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved


  • August 22, 2011 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Josa they were preserved so beautifully because the bodies were buried in a mausoleum rather than in coffins. I think the curators were just as astonished by the way in which the clothes had survived. The bodies were reinterred with great respect. As for the colours, the photos don’t really do justice to how bright the clothes were given the circumstances, the doublet for example was a beautiful dark grape colour.

  • August 21, 2011 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

    do they understand how they came to be preserved so well with a body inside? What were the atmospheric conditions for this preservation? Do they think they were coloured when new? Fascinating. I hope they reinterred the bones respectfully though!

  • Andrea Zuvich
    August 12, 2011 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Those are really lovely garments. I think the photo quality is just fine! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  • August 12, 2011 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s pretty gruesome. Beautiful clothes though…

  • August 8, 2011 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    The detail is amazing. Must have been very grand when new!

  • August 8, 2011 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    In addition, the skeleton of Margaretha was found lying on a pillow stuffed with her own hair!

  • Anonymous
    August 8, 2011 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    this is kind of creepy for sure!!!

  • Comments are closed.

    All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

    Join other followers:

    © Shakespeare's England 2009-2014