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Dress fabric

Dress fabric

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1760-1765 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brocaded silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs V. H. Markham

  • Museum number:

    T.454 to B-1988

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This delicate silk is from a dress said to have belonged to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, although this association cannot be proved. Charlotte was seventeen at the time of her marriage to the King in 1761, which was around the time when the silk was woven. It is a lustring, or lutestring, a lightweight silk with a glossy surface.

In France, the colour green was thought only suitable for young women to wear, but attitudes were different in England. An English aristocrat, Lady Mary Coke, wrote in a letter home from the French court in 1773 : “I had on a green lutestring, a beautiful colour, which I had bought here; the different ideas in different countries are ridiculous; in England ‘tis a colour one might wear at four score [eighty] : here few people wear it after thirty. The Queen I believe takes me to be much younger than I am, to be sure. She did not mean to say anything impolite, when she told me one must be young to wear that colour.” Lady Mary was aged forty-seven at the time.

Physical description

Dress fabric of green silk lustring brocaded in 12 colours, and with a supplementary weft of white silk. Selvedges of green and while stripes with red cord on the outside left and pale blue on outside right.

Pattern of white floral trails forming asymetrical compartments containing bunches of stylised flowers. Drop reverse repeat.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1760-1765 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Brocaded silk

Object history note

Association in donor's family history with Queen Charlotte, but unproven.

Descriptive line

Dress fabric of brocaded silk lustring, London, 1760-1765

Materials

Silk (textile)

Techniques

Brocaded

Subjects depicted

Floral pattern

Categories

Textiles; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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