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Shakespeare Connected - Marking Time in Shakespeare’s England


Knives were often given as wedding tokens, and this sheath for a pair of wedding knives dated 1602 was likely made to commemorate the marriage of a woman from a prosperous, middling family in that year. The knife would either be worn by the bride, suspended from a long belt or girdle, or may have been given as a courting gift. Marriage was a major moment in a person’s life cycle. Although not a stage everyone would experience, it marked the most important personal, social and economic transformation. As such marriage rituals were often accompanied with dated objects like this sheath to mark the occasion in perpetuity.

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