Not currently on display at the V&A

Stomacher

1730-1750 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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 rather inelegantly shaped and has been pieced together with scraps of silk. Nevertheless, the carefully shaded petals and leaves have been skilfully embroidered and the tabs were worked to shape. The pinholes in the tabs on either side indicate how it was attached to the gown.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, silver, cotton; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, block-printed, hand-sewn.
Brief Description
Woman's stomacher of ivory silk taffeta, 1730-50, British; embroidered coloured silks and metal thread, printed cotton lining
Physical Description
Woman's stomacher of ivory silk taffeta, pieced in several places, embroidered in satin, long and short stitches with coloured silk twist and couched with partially wrapped silver filé. In the middle within a V-shaped space formed by two overlaid pieces of silk is a flowering rose-stem on a ground closely covered with scrolling stems. At the bottom are six narrow skirts filled with floral stems. The lining is of cotton, block-printed in red with vertical stripes containing small detached flowers and dots. There are 3 short loops of ivory silk grostrain ribbon on each side for fastening
Dimensions
  • Length: 34.5cm (approx)
  • Max. width: 29.0cm (approx)
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 17245/1902.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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 rather inelegantly shaped and has been pieced together with scraps of silk. Nevertheless, the carefully shaded petals and leaves have been skilfully embroidered and the tabs were worked to shape. The pinholes in the tabs on either side indicate how it was attached to the gown.
Bibliographic References
  • Hart, Avril and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, London: V&A, 1998, p. 200
  • Kim Sloan, A noble art: amateur artists and drawing masters, c.1600-1800, London, British Museum, 2000, pp. 61-62
Collection
Accession Number
702-1902

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record createdJuly 23, 2007
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