Said of an item, in particular a valuable item, in reference to its history. It tells the story of where it was made, who bought it, where it has lived and how far it has travelled with a particular emphasis on ownership and individuality. Something that might in itself be quite inconsequential can suddenly acquire a rare value depending on who bought it at any stage of its life: a pop, stage or screen star, a musician, poet, playwright, a politician, royalty or a well known-name in the world of science, medicine will confer great status–and by default, value–to anything, however humble.

Some of the best preserved vintage textiles we now have were commissioned and owned by the Church, the State and royal households–these also have good provenance, their story is known.

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