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Court presentation dress

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1931 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hartnell, Norman, born 1901 - died 1979 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    silk satin, tulle, beads and sequins, net and feather headdress

  • Credit Line:

    Given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, for her presentation at Court in 1930

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Sleeveless V-necked shift dress in white satin overlaid with cream net embroidered with rosettes, silver sequins and pearls. Triple-layered tulle skirt rising to knee length in front and dipping to ankle length in back. Matching tulle jacket and headdress of feathers and net

Place of Origin

London (made)


1931 (made)


Hartnell, Norman, born 1901 - died 1979 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

silk satin, tulle, beads and sequins, net and feather headdress

Object history note

Worn by Miss Margaret Whigham for her 1930 presentation at Court. The headdress was donated the following year, and is catalogued with this dress.

Margaret Whigham was the only child of Helen Mann Hannay and George Hay Whigham, a Scottish millionaire who was chairman of the Celanese Corporation of England, North America, and Canada. After being educated privately in New York City, where she moved one week after her birth and lived until the age of 14, and making her debut in London in 1930, she announced her engagement to Charles Guy Fulke Greville, 7th Earl of Warwick. This wedding did not take place as she had fallen for Charles Sweeny, an American amateur golfer, and decided she was not sufficiently in love with Lord Warwick. Margaret and Charles Sweeny married 1933, divorced in 1947, and in 1951, she became the notorious Duchess of Argyll, third wife of the 11th Duke of Argyll.

Descriptive line

White silk satin and tulle Court presentation gown, beaded and embroidered, matching jacket


Silk satin; Tulle; Beads; Sequins; Ostrich feathers; Net


Embroidery; Beading


Fashion; Clothing; Formal wear; Evening wear; Royalty

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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