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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1860-1869 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand stitched and embroidered drabbet

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M. Locke Smith

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This traditional English garment is of a type worn by country men and boys, agricultural workers in particular, until the late nineteenth century, and often embroidered with symbols or patterns indicative of their work. Smocks are made from squares and rectangles of fabric, which makes a paper pattern un-necessary in their construction and eliminates wasting fabric in cutting curved facings etc. As their use in the countryside was dying out towards the end of the nineteenth century, rural smocks were taken as the inspiration for girl's dresses by first the æsthetic movement and then by clothes reformers.

Physical description

Hand-sewn 'round frock' smock of light brown drabbet. The collar and shoulder-straps are embroidered with a simple meandering line, and the box with stylized designs of plants and insects. The gathering, the sleeve tops, and the cuffs are all smocked in feather and bar stitches. There are two side pockets, the lid of each fastening with a button and a stitched buttonhole. The neck fastens at the front with a hook and bar, which are modern additions.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1860-1869 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Hand stitched and embroidered drabbet


Length: 82.5 cm centre back below collar

Object history note

Given to the donor in 1921-22 to wear in a school play at Monmouth School for Girls. Originally worn by Arthur Toobey (born in the 1850s) of English Bicknor, Coleford, Gloucestershire.

Descriptive line

Boy's rural smock of beige drabbet, made in England, 1860-1869

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private


Children's clothes; Children & Childhood; Education & Learning; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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