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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1807-1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk taffeta, trimmed with chenille pom-poms attached to silk cord, partly lined with cotton, embroidered net

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs E. Sanford

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Green chenille pom-poms decorate this silk taffeta spencer and matching dress. They are attached to a continuous silk cord and stitched into place around the collar, cuffs and down the front of the bodice. Their position on each side of the front fastening gives the jacket the appearance of being double breasted. Around the waistband and hem of the skirt of the dress they hang freely, moving with the wearer.

Spencers were short jackets, designed to be worn with dresses. They were cut to the same proportions and were often made of matching materials and trimmings. In this example the spencer opens to reveal a shirred bodice decorated with two pom-poms with delicate embroidered net sleeves.

The spencer was originally a male item of dress worn over a coat for extra warmth. It was popular for country and sporting wear. It came into use in the 1790s and like the female version was short waisted and close-fitting.

Physical description

Pale green silk taffeta bib-fronted dress and matching spencer jacket with a turn-down collar and long sleeves. The bodice, waistband and hem of the dress, and the collar, front and cuffs of the spencer are trimmed with chenille pompons attached to silk cord. The bodice of the dress is gathered horizontally over fine cords and it has wrist length embroidered net sleeves. The dress has a high waist and low stomacher front. Partly lined with cotton.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1807-1810 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk taffeta, trimmed with chenille pom-poms attached to silk cord, partly lined with cotton, embroidered net

Descriptive line

Silk taffeta bib-fronted dress and matching spencer jacket, Great Britain, ca. 1807-1810

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

Johnston, Lucy with Kite, Marion and Persson, Helen. Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publications, 2005. 176-7p., ill. ISBN 185174394.


Silk taffeta; Chenille; Cotton (textile)


Hand sewing


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


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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