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Smock

1860-1869 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand stitched and embroidered drabbet
Brief Description
Boy's rural smock of beige drabbet, made in England, 1860-1869
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.
Dimensions
  • Centre back below collar length: 82.5cm
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Miss M. Locke Smith
Object history
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.
Production
Reason For Production: Private
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
MISC.96-1982

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record createdDecember 1, 2004
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