The night cap was a round, close-fitting hat worn indoors for informal occasions during the 16th and first half of the 17th century; it was usually decorated with embroidery in silk thread and with sequins. The pomegranate motif on this example was widely employed on clothing and textiles from the 1520s through to the late-17th century in Europe and the Orient; it was particularly popular in England, partly as the personal device of Catherine of Aragon and Mary I and partly since the fruit was regarded as a symbol of fertility. The style of the cap is similar in style to those worn in Turkey and Russia, showing the direct influence on English design of the great trading ventures of the 16th century. A further example of this influence can be seen in the costumes designed by Inigo Jones for the entertainment of James I and Anne of Denmark and their court, for example, Hymenaei, performed on 6th January 1606.
By the end of the 16th century, English trade with Turkey was well established. In 1580, a treaty between the Sultan and Queen Elizabeth ensured unrestricted trading for the English under their own flag. The following year, the Levant Company was formed, from which the East India Company emerged a few years later; Turkish Bullion embroidery became prized as an import in Europe.
Major Buntine fought first on the side of Charles I in the English Civil War and then transferred allegiance to the Commonwealth. In March 1660, in response to a conciliatory letter from the exiled Charles II, General Monck sent a secret message to the King in Brussels, to move to the neutral town of Breda. The Declaration of Breda was made on the 4th April, in which the King promised "liberty to tender consciences", thus smoothing his path back to the English throne. It is possible that, as the carrier of General Monck's message, Major Buntine played a central role in the return of Charles II to London in 1660 (see Antonia Fraser, Charles II, 1979, pp. 172-3).