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Long gown

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1810-1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Henriette Syatauw

  • Museum number:

    MISC.481-1991

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This baby gown was made at a time when gowns of white linen or cotton were very fashionable female clothing. The skirt is unusually long, and may well indicate that the gown was kept for ceremonial and formal use only, although the signs of wear and tear suggest that it was used on a number of occasions, probably over a considerable length of time. The skirt length is further emphasised by the very short bodice, and the garment may possibly have been adapted from a girl's or woman's gown.

By the 1870s excessively long skirts like this were going out of use because they were seen as unwieldy and also unsafe, especially when a baby was carried about in someone's arms. Where a family cherished a gown of this length and had handed it down through the generations, the skirt was often taken off the bodice and cut shorter, or shortened by taking horizontal tucks in it.

Physical description

Baby's long gown, of white cotton, with a low drawstring neck and short puffed sleeves, each with a drawstring hem. The high-waisted bodice is gathered between the neck and the waist at front and back, and the skirt flares from the waist, with two panels of cartridge pleating at the centre back. The skirt is finished with a band of stylized flowers and foliage embroidered between lines of drawn threadwork just above the hem. The garment fastens with drawstrings at neck and waist.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)

Date

1810-1815 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered cotton

Dimensions

Length: 109.25 cm

Object history note

Part of a large group of baby- and child-related costume and textiles given to the museum by Henriette Syatauw (RF 88/1828). All the items came from the family of the donor's cousin, Mrs Wilhelmina Helena Cooper (née [van Oosterwyck] Bruyn), of Crockham Hill and Westerham, Kent. Mrs Cooper was born in 1899 at Pootings, Crockham Hill, to a Dutch father and an Engllish mother, whose maiden surname was said to have been Ward.

Descriptive line

Baby's long gown, white cambric with embroidered sprays and foliage between rows of threadwork around the hem, British, 1810-1815

Materials

Cotton (textile)

Techniques

Stitching; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Stylized foliage; Stylized flowers

Categories

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

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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