Effigy of Mary II
Mary II had reigned as joint monarch with her husband William III for just five years when she died in December 1694. Her magnificent funeral at Westminster Abbey cost the huge sum of £50,000.
As was common at royal funerals of the time, a life-sized effigy made of wax and wood and lavishly dressed in robes and jewels, was carried in the funeral procession.
Textile specialist Zenzie Tinker is leading a team assessing and conserving the layers of clothing used to dress Mary's effigy – and those of the twenty other figures in the Abbey's collection.
These panels of brocaded silk were used in Mary's petticoat. The colours are faded in the centre where they have been exposed to light, but the sections covered by the mantle are still beautifully bright. Also vivid are the colours on the reverse of the fabric.
The Abbey’s unsurpassed collection of royal funeral effigies – remarkable yet little known treasures – will be on display in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, opening in 2018.
A panel of brocaded silk used as the petticoat
Detail of the petticoat restoration
Detail on the panel of brocaded silk
Float threads on the reverse of the silk panels
The colour remains vivid on the sections not exposed to light