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Dress

Dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris, France (made)

  • Date:

    1889-1892 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sara Mayer & A. Morhanger (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Figured silk overlaid with chiffon, velvet ribbon, machine lace, velvet

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Major and Mrs Broughton

  • Museum number:

    T.270&A-1972

  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, room 40, case CA6, shelf FIG3

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This dress was worn by one of the two Rogers sisters, Cara or Anne, daughters of a wealthy American industrialist. Cara Rogers later became Lady Fairhaven - she was a 'Dollar Princess', one of several heiresses who came to Britain in the late 19th century, and married into the British aristocracy bringing much-needed glamour and financial capital.

Lady Fairhaven kept several spectacular outfits bought in Paris and New York for her sister and herself in the 1880s and 1890s. These surviving garments give us an insight into the sisters' taste, and the range of dressmakers they patronised. Many of these dressmakers emulated the work of the House of Worth, which produced the most luxurious gowns created from bold French silks, combined with ingenious design touches in embroidery, lace and chiffon. The contrasting black and ivory textiles of this ensemble create a dramatic effect, while this is softened by the delicacy of the lace, and the rows of narrow ribbons encased in chiffon.

Physical description

Formal day jacket bodice and skirt constructed from ivory coloured figured silk overlaid with chiffon encasing strips of black velvet ribbon, with bands of black machine lace, and with a panel of vertically striped black and ivory velvet at the centre back forming a bustle shape. Stitch marks suggest that there may have been an additional panel of lace or drapery applied over the back of the dress. Probably a half-mourning dress.

Place of Origin

Paris, France (made)

Date

1889-1892 (made)

Artist/maker

Sara Mayer & A. Morhanger (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Figured silk overlaid with chiffon, velvet ribbon, machine lace, velvet

Marks and inscriptions

'PARIS / Sara Mayer & A. Morhange / 5, Rue du Helder'

Dimensions

Circumference: 57.5 cm waist
[Jacket bodice] Circumference: 80 cm bust

Object history note

This dress was owned by Cara Broughton, née Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers (1867-1939), who married Urban Hanlon Broughton (1857-1929) in 1895. As Urban H. Broughton died before he could be elevated to a peerage, their eldest son Urban H.R. Broughton (1896-1966) became 1st Baron Fairhaven of Lode on 20 March 1929, while Cara became 1st Lady Fairhaven. This barony became extinct on Urban H.R.Broughton's death, but a later barony, Baron Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey, co. Cambridge, was granted to him in 1961, with a remainder to his brother, Henry (1900-1973), to enable this title to continue after his death without male heirs.

This forms part of a large donation of late 19th and early 20th century garments and accessories (with a few historical textiles) donated to the Museum in 1972 by Cara's grandson and Henry's son, Major Ailwyn Broughton and his wife, a year before Ailwyn became Lord Fairhaven following his father's death.

Some of the nineteenth century garments are thought to have been worn by Cara's sister, Anne (1865-1924). This elaborately trimmed dress would have been considered appropriate for a married woman (Anne married William Evarts Benjamin in 1886), less so for a young unmarried woman. The black-and-white colour combination probably represents half-mourning for Cara and Anne's sister, Millicent, who died aged only 17 in 1890. (DMC)

Descriptive line

Jacket bodice and skirt of figured silk overlaid with chiffon, designed and made by Sara Mayer & A. Morhanger, Paris, 1889-1892

Materials

Silk; Velvet; Ribbon; Chiffon

Techniques

Sewing; Machine made lace; Machine

Categories

Textiles; Fashion; Lace; Women's clothes

Collection code

T&F

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