Gown thumbnail 1
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Gown

1750 - 1755 (weaving), 1775 - 1780 (sewing), 1870 - 1910 (altered)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

A woman's gown of ivory satin figured with meandering trails of foliage and leaf-bearing cornucopias an dbrocaded in a pattern of large bunches of flowers in pink, brown, maroon and blue-green silk The gown is in the English (tight-back) style, open at the front with elbow-length sleeves with small pleated cuffs. The bodice meets at centre front. The bodice and sleeves are lined with pieced linen. The pleats at centre back are stitched down. The skirt is made of 4 widths of silk, with two half-widths stiched together on the left front. A waist seam runs from the front opening to either side of the centre back pleats. The skirts are flat-pleated into the waist seam. The hem is faced with a deep band of white silk taffeta.

The gown was possibly made as a gown in the 1750s and reconfigured in the late 1770s for a narrower hoop. The robings were unpicked and opened out to meet at centre front, and sleeve ruffles replaced with cuffs.

In the late 19th century the gown was altered for fancy dress. Insertions of silk were added to the front edges of the bodice to fit a late 19th century corset, along with hooks and thread bar fastenings. The waist at the back was shortened and darts inserted in the cuffs to make them smaller. Patches of coarse wool flannel were added to the armholes in the inside. Muslin frills (now removed - parts B & C) were sewn to the cuffs, and a muslin edging (now removed - part A) to the neckline.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven satin, brocade, hand-sewn
Brief Description
A woman's gown, 1775-80, English; Ivory figured satin, brocaded in coloured floral sprays, 1750-55, Spitalfields; altered 1870-1910
Physical Description
A woman's gown of ivory satin figured with meandering trails of foliage and leaf-bearing cornucopias an dbrocaded in a pattern of large bunches of flowers in pink, brown, maroon and blue-green silk The gown is in the English (tight-back) style, open at the front with elbow-length sleeves with small pleated cuffs. The bodice meets at centre front. The bodice and sleeves are lined with pieced linen. The pleats at centre back are stitched down. The skirt is made of 4 widths of silk, with two half-widths stiched together on the left front. A waist seam runs from the front opening to either side of the centre back pleats. The skirts are flat-pleated into the waist seam. The hem is faced with a deep band of white silk taffeta.



The gown was possibly made as a gown in the 1750s and reconfigured in the late 1770s for a narrower hoop. The robings were unpicked and opened out to meet at centre front, and sleeve ruffles replaced with cuffs.



In the late 19th century the gown was altered for fancy dress. Insertions of silk were added to the front edges of the bodice to fit a late 19th century corset, along with hooks and thread bar fastenings. The waist at the back was shortened and darts inserted in the cuffs to make them smaller. Patches of coarse wool flannel were added to the armholes in the inside. Muslin frills (now removed - parts B & C) were sewn to the cuffs, and a muslin edging (now removed - part A) to the neckline.



Dimensions
  • Bust under armholes circumference: 96.5cm (approx)
  • Silk, selvedge to selvedge width: 53.3cm
  • Shoulder to hem at centre back length: 150.0cm (approx)
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
I C (Above the initials is a 'sideways' 'V' like a 'less than' sign with the bottom edge straight. All are embroidered in cross stitch with blue silk on the left bodice front lining)
Credit line
Given by Miss. C. M. Scott-Smith
Collection
Accession Number
T.249-1963

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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