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Christening robe

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1902 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Habutai silk trimmed with embroidery and machine-made lace

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Edith Rowbotham

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The baby clothes of the 1850s to 90s were often made from stout, plain fabrics which would last well and stand up to robust laundering techniques. The early years of the twentieth century saw a move to creating baby clothes in lighter weight fabrics and more delicate trimmings, particularly those garments intended for formal wear and special occasions. This Christening robe is made from a soft fine Japanese silk which was imported into the UK, and trimmed with an unusual machine-made lace with a fruit motif, possibly a European import.

Physical description

Christening robe of unlined ivory-coloured habutai silk trimmed with machine-made lace. The circular neck is feather stitched and edged with lace in a six-petalled flower motif; the full wrist-length sleeeves have a matching lace edging. The squared yoke is made up of vertical bands of lace insertion with a fruit motif, alternating with bands of self fabric worked with feather stitch, and edged throughout with a matching lace frill. The lower part of the long gathered skirt is made up of horizontal insertions of feather stitched silk bands and lace insertion to match that on the yoke; the skirt hem is finished with two scalloped flounces of matching lace. The garment fastens at the back with a ribbon drawstring at the neck, and two pearlized buttons with stitched buttonholes

Place of Origin

England (made)


1902 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Habutai silk trimmed with embroidery and machine-made lace


Length: 102.8 cm centre back

Object history note

Worn by the donor, née Edith Hoe (b 1902) for her Christening in August 1902 in West Dulwich, and also by her brother Edgar (b 1906) for his Christening. (RF 83/1485)

Descriptive line

Christening robe of ivory-coloured silk with bands of lace insertion, made in England, 1902


Habutai silk; Machine made lace



Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers; Fruit


Children & Childhood; Children's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

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