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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1740-1749 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, baleen; hand-woven, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Rev. R. Brooke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A glistening yellow silk taffeta enhances this undecorated bodice of the 1740s. It is constructed from eight pieces of silk and has a boned centre back opening with a fly concealing the lacing. The waistline is tabbed and has a silk cord stitched along the edges of the tabs. The elbow-length sleeves have winged cuffs, pleated and stitched at the front to keep their shape. This style of cuff was fashionable in the 1740s and card or paste board were sometimes used for stiffening. A bodice of this style was worn by young girls and children, and as informal dress by adult women.

Physical description

Girl’s bodice of yellow silk taffeta with a wide, shallow neckline, elbow-length sleeves with wing cuffs, and a pointed waist, front and back, with short narrow skirts below. It is cut in 4 pieces, lined with linen, then whipped together. There are 18 worked lacing holes, asymmetrically placed, on a boned lacing band on each side at centre back. A ⅜-inch (8 mm) wide yellow silk grosgrain ribbon binds the neck and skirts at the hem. The cuffs are pleated at the inside elbow, extending beyond the circumference of the sleeve. The bodice has be carefully let out at the front/side seam.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1740-1749 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, baleen; hand-woven, hand-sewn


Length: 43.0 cm overall approx, Circumference: 72.0 cm bust under armholes approx

Descriptive line

Girl's bodice of yellow silk taffeta, 1740s British; back lacing, wing cuff

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

Hart, Avril and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, London: V&A Publications, 1998, p. 86


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Baleen


Hand weaving; Hand sewing


Fashion; Clothing; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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