Not currently on display at the V&A

Dress

1845-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The popularity of cashmere shawls reached its peak from the 1840s to the 1860s. Originally imported from India in the late 18th century, British manufacturers were making woven and printed versions by the early 19th century, based on the Indian designs. A key motif was the boteh or pine cone, what we know today as the paisley. This design was popular as a dress fabric. This example was printed by the company Swaislands of Crayford in Kent, and registered in the Patent Office between July 1845 and April 1847. The bodice of the dress has vertical slits fastened with buttons on either side of the centre front. This indicates that the owner wore it while nursing her children.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed wool lined with glazed cotton, silk, boned, edged with braid
Brief Description
Wool morning dress, Great Britain, 1845-1850
Physical Description
Morning dress of wool with a white ground printed with a shawl pattern of boteh on trails arching over alternating blue and white vertical stripes. The dress is in the form of a simulated jacket bodice attached to a full gathered skirt, to which a basque is tightly pleated. The dress has pagoda sleeves to which are attached half-sleeves, gathered into a wrist band. The bodice, basque, sleeves and cuffs are edged with blue braid. The bodice fastens from neck to hip with blue silk loops and silk covered buttons which continue to the hem as a decorative trimming. The bodice is lined with glazed cotton and is boned up the seams.



The high-necked bodice has drapes arranged from the shoulders to the long pointed waist. Vertical slits over the bust, which are fastened with cotton buttons concealed by the front drapes of the bodice, suggest that this was a nursing dress.
Credit line
Given by Mrs Geoffrey Myers
Summary
The popularity of cashmere shawls reached its peak from the 1840s to the 1860s. Originally imported from India in the late 18th century, British manufacturers were making woven and printed versions by the early 19th century, based on the Indian designs. A key motif was the boteh or pine cone, what we know today as the paisley. This design was popular as a dress fabric. This example was printed by the company Swaislands of Crayford in Kent, and registered in the Patent Office between July 1845 and April 1847. The bodice of the dress has vertical slits fastened with buttons on either side of the centre front. This indicates that the owner wore it while nursing her children.
Collection
Accession Number
T.849-1974

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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