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Tudor period corset

X-raying a Tudor period corset for a private collector

I spent an afternoon imaging a corset from Tudor period England (1485-1603). I'll be honest, it's not a time period I'm familiar with but it was certainly interesting. I have little details about the corset, aside that it is of great interest and amazing preservation. A private collector contacted Dana Goodburn-Brown (my long standing collaborator) to ask for it to be imaged using x-rays.

A selection of x-rays of the corset.

We were interested in seeing the internal structure of the corset, which may include the use of bone stays (traditionally made from Whale bone). As can be seen in one of the x-rays above, initially we left the clothing on its foam bed but it had a lattice of metal which showed on the resultant image. After removing the foam bed I had to image the corset in sections due to its size. The exposure factors used was 50kV 1.8mAs, chosen due to the low density of the object. There is some quantum mottle (speckled appearance on the image), suggesting that I could have increased the mAs (quantity of x-rays). I'm certain the images could be stitched together by someone with patience!

More details about this interesting object is yet to follow.

The author, setting up the machine for imaging.

Dana Goodburn-Brown, professional archaeological conservator

Images: All images shown here belong to the author. Reproduction is strictly by permission.

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