Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1885 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mrs Francis (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jacquard-woven silk, mother-of-pearl, lined with cotton, whalebone, boned

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rev. W. H. Padget

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This elegant bustle dress displays a dense pattern of violets springing from a bed of vine leaves. The design would have been woven by a powered jacquard loom and is an example of good commercially produced fabric.

The floral design complements the construction of this dress, accentuating the closely fitted lines of the bodice and drapery on the front of the skirt. It also flows in sweeping folds over the bustle, which by the mid-1880s jutted out almost at right angles from behind. Bustles were often a separate structure attached around the waist and included crinolettes made of steel half-hoops, down-filled pads and wire mesh structures. By 1885 the bustle was often incorporated into the back of the foundation skirt itself in the form of a small pad attached to the waistband and horizontal rows of steel which could be pulled into a curved shape. This dress has a foundation skirt of grey denim that is cut straight in front and gathered and pleated at the back to follow the lines of the separate bustle worn underneath.

Physical description

Day dress consisting of a jacket bodice and skirt of Jacquard-woven silk fastened with mother-of-pearl buttons, and trimmed with dark blue silk satin decorated with honey-combing. The bodice is lined with cotton and whalebone strips.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1885 (made)


Mrs Francis (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Jacquard-woven silk, mother-of-pearl, lined with cotton, whalebone, boned

Descriptive line

Day dress consisting of a jacket bodice and skirt of Jacquard-woven silk, possibly made by Mrs Francis, Great Britain, ca. 1885

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Lucy Johnstone, Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail, (London: V&A Publishing, 2005)


Fashion; Day wear; Women's clothes; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.