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Design

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, designed)

  • Date:

    1782-1794 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.254-1973

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 10, box A

This is a design for embroidery on muslin or gauze. It is probably for an apron which women wore over a gown as fashionable informal dress. The design shows a right-angled pattern and thus the bottom right corner of the apron. There is another design in the group of patterns from which it comes that also shows a right-angle which is inscribed 'Apron Lady Webster' E.247-1973. The designs comes from a group of designs that were part of a retailer's archive which employed professional embroiderers. The names of the female clients inscribed on the designs were of the aristocracy, gentry or from wealthy families that moved in the upper reaches of society. They had homes in the country and came to London for the season. Retailers who sold such designs were linen drapers and lacemakers, both of which categories existed in London and were available to the clients. Many pattern drawers worked in London where their trade proved a lucrative business during the season. The similarity of some of the designs from this group to those by Mr Styart whose designs were published in The Fashionable Magazine in London in 1786 does support the argument that these designs came from a retailer's archive based in London.

Physical description

The design consists of a scalloped edge arranged in a right-angle. Above this is a wavy stem with pairs of leaves. In the space formed by the right-angle are sprigs and leaves. The design was folded into four at some point. There are no holes for pouncing.

Place of Origin

London (probably, designed)

Date

1782-1794 (designed)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink on paper

Dimensions

Height: 20.3 cm, Width: 16.5 cm

Object history note

The designs were bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1973 by Raymond Johnes who had 'enormous and miscellaneous collections'.* Johnes' collection included Japanese art, on which he published,** Indian and European material. He did not specialise in collecting textiles although he owned some examples. He was in contact with the Museum 1920s-1970 offering to sell objects from his collection. Johnes did not provide the Museum with information about the history of ownership of the designs.

*Mr B.W. Robinson, former Keeper of the Far Eastern Department, V&A, in a letter to Mr Ayres, Assistant- Keeper in the same Department, V&A Regsitry, nominal file, (MA/1/J479).

**Johnes, Raymond. Japanese Art London: Spring Books, 1961. Conservation joined the two halves together in 2004.

Descriptive line

Anonymous designs for embroidery, 18th century

Production Note

The design comes from a group of designs that were part of a retailer's archive which employed professional embroiderers. The names of the female clients inscribed on the designs were of the aristocracy, gentry or from wealthy families that moved in the upper reaches of society. They had homes in the country and came to London for the season. Retailers who sold such designs were linen drapers and lacemakers, both of which categories existed in London and were available to the clients. Many pattern drawers worked in London where their trade proved a lucrative business during the season. The similarity of some of the designs from this group to those by Mr Styart whose designs were published in The Fashionable Magazine in London in 1786 does support the argument that these designs came from a retailer's archive based in London.

Attribution note: The right-angle suggests that the design is for an apron. There is a design with a right-angle inscribed 'apron' in this group E.247-1973. The speculation is that all designs that depict a right-angle are for aprons.
Reason For Production: Retail

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Drawing

Categories

Embroidery; Designs; Textiles; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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