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Stomacher

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1700-1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand embroidered linen and silk taffeta with silk and silver thread, backed with linen, outlined with grosgrain ribbon and silver cord and braid

  • Museum number:

    T.404-1977

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A stomacher is a decorative panel of fabric, usually triangular in shape, worn to fill the space between the front edges of a woman’s open gown. The stomacher formed part of the ensemble of fashionable women’s dress from the 1680s to the 1780s. This example is richly embroidered with coloured silks and metal thread in satin stitch, chain stitch and French knots. On either side of the stomacher, the ribbon tabs would have been attached with pins to the edges of the gown. The narrow dimensions and tabbed lower point of this stomacher suggest it was made between 1700 and 1720.

Physical description

Long stomacher tapering to a narrow, spade shaped end. The top edge is slightly concave. Three pairs of short tabs are attached to the sides.

It is made of linen and silk taffeta and is embroidered with coloured silks in a long and short, satin and chain stitch with French knots. The ground is entirely covered with laid and couched silver thread. Some of the flower centres are also worked in silver thread. A branching, flowery stem spreads over the whole of the stomacher. The flowers increase in size towards the top of the stomacher where there is a large, stylised rose.

The stomacher is backed with linen and the edges and the point are outlined with cream, grosgrain ribbon, which forms a raised edge. The spade shaped end is outlined with a double line of couched silver cord and there is a narrow silver braid, originally decorated with spangles, along the top edge.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1700-1720 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Hand embroidered linen and silk taffeta with silk and silver thread, backed with linen, outlined with grosgrain ribbon and silver cord and braid

Dimensions

Length: 15.25 in, Length: 39 cm, Width: 6.125 in, Width: 15.5 cm

Descriptive line

Stomacher of embroidered linen and silk taffeta, England, 1700-1720

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

Avril Hart and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, London: V&A, 1998, p. 200

Materials

Silk taffeta; Linen; Silk thread; Silver thread

Techniques

Hand sewing; Hand embroidery

Categories

Fashion; Accessories; Embroidery; Textiles; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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