Men's gloves

Pair of men's gloves, early 19th century, I-Taranto. D-Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde, Malacological collection, inventory ZMB/Moll (MS Inventory 1)

Sea-silk, plain knitting right, 10 stitches per cm, length 22 cm, width 9.5 cm, right glove slightly damaged on the outer hand edge


This pair of gloves was registered in 1859 in the General Catalogue of the Department of Malacology of the Humboldt University. The original label gives information about its history: 3823 Zwei Steckmuscheln nebst einem Paar aus ihrem Bart verfertigten Handschuhen. Seiner Majestät dem Könige im Jahre 1822 von dem Bischof von Tarent zum Geschenk gemacht.

Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770-1840), King of Prussia, visited Italy in 1822. In November of that year, he stayed in Rome and Naples. Archbishop Giuseppe Capecelatro, the great patron of the sea-silk processing, was then already 78 years old and lived in Naples. Apparently his house was still a center of cultural life – it is possible that the King of Prussia was welcomed there.



Men's gloves
Pair of men's gloves, early 19th c., I-Taranto. D-Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde, Malacological collection, inventory ZMB/Moll (MS Inventory 1) Doumenge 2000



Original museum's label
Original museum's label
Ludwig Brühl mentioned these gloves in his book on the raw materials of the animal kingdom of 1938: «König Friedrich Wilhelm III. erhielt vom Bischof von Tarent ein Paar Handschuhe aus Muschelseide, die angeblich gut gegen Gicht und rheumatische Leiden sein sollten (Nemnich).»