• Galleries & Displays

An ever-changing array of fascinating art and antiques

Tennants Auctioneers is privileged to handle a diverse range of art, antiques and rare and beautiful objects with a rich history. From large private Country House collections to exquisite 18th century costume, colourful Moorcroft pottery to vintage toys and train sets, we have the opportunity to display many fascinating objects for visitors to enjoy before they once more return to a private collection and away from public sight.

Open seven days a week, the Galleries are free for all to enjoy.

Your Collection

A unique facility

Our state of the art display galleries allow us to showcase your items and collections ahead of sale and to promote the many fascinating, rare and beautiful objects we are privileged to handle.  

To discuss exhibiting your collection ahead of sale at Tennants, please speak to your valuer or specialist.

Display Highlight

Costume, Accessories & Textiles

21st November 2020

Early 18th Century Circa 1720 Stomacher on Cream Silk

decorated with embroidered flower heads to the centre in pink and plum, silver highlights and green leaves

A stomacher is typically a V or U shaped panel used to cover the undergarments which would otherwise be visible through the opening of the bodice of the dress. Most bodices did not lace up at the front so they could be made larger or smaller as required. Stomachers were around from roughly the 1570’s - 1780’s. The earlier styles did not generally match the rest of the outfit but as time went on it was more common for them to match or contrast the gown more directly. Some stomachers would have a pocket within the lining at the top. This would then be filled with herbs to give the wearer a pleasant scent.

This stomacher is made from silk, backed with linen and backed once more with a red and white floral patterned fabric on the flared tabs and boned with whale bone. It has been hand embroidered with silk thread to create a pattern of polychrome flowers which was typical of the period. During the early 18th century heavy decoration of stomachers became increasingly popular with specific elements such as polychrome flowers, faux lacing and bows being the most notable embellishments. The 18th century stomachers are shorter than those worn in the previous century. By 1770 bodices started to close at the front so stomachers were used less and less before eventually falling out of use altogether.

The embroidery on the stomacher incorporates several basic stitches such as French knots, couching, satin and stem stitches. Using coloured silk and silver thread (which back then was produced by drawing out silver wire very finely, flattening it and then wrapping it around a silk core) they have achieved an ombre effect for the petals of the flowers which was a very popular embroidery style during this period. The embroidery is still in great condition with the age only being shown by the silver thread that has worn in some areas exposing the silk core of the thread or lost its shine.

Display Highlights

  • The Autumn Sale

    The Autumn Sale

    Highlights of fine furniture, ceramics, clocks and works of art coming up for sale in the Autumn Sale on 14th November.

  • Antique Textiles

    Antique Textiles

    Part of a Private Collection of Antique Textiles and Dolls, on view ahead of the Costume, Accessories & Textiles Sale on 21st November. Included in the display is an early 18th century embroidered stomacher.

  • Silver


    A selection of highlights of the forthcoming Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale, which will take place at the end of the Autumn Fine Sale Week on 14th November.

  • Costume, Accessories & Textiles

    Costume, Accessories & Textiles

    The Costume, Accessories & Textiles Sale in November includes some fine period costume and textiles, including a stunning 1920s crystal-embellished blue jacket and dress, which is now on display.

  • Natural History & Taxidermy

    Natural History & Taxidermy

    A preview of the Natural History & Taxidermy Sale on 28th October.