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Day dress

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1855-1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk taffeta trimmed with ruched bands, pleated machine-made lace, lined with cotton, boned, braided, with brass hooks and eyes

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Day dress made from lilac shot silk taffeta with a vertical stripe pattern consisting of wide ribbon stripes, pink rosebuds on a white ground, flanked on each side by a black border and a golden brown and white tartan. Trimmed on the bodice and sleeves with ruched bands and bows of ribbon in a toning design of rosebuds with a purple scalloped border. The collar and cuffs are made from cream machine-made lace arranged in narrow bands, pleated and stitched to a plain net foundation.

The dress has a bodice with a high neck, fastening down the centre front with concealed hooks and eyes. It is close fitting, and the back is made in three panels and each front is darted to fit. Below the waist, the bodice is extended into a 'V' at the front and each side. The sleeves are wide and below elbow length, flared from just above the elbow with panels filled with gauged golden brown silk. The same silk is used to make the corded finish to the shoulders and the bottom of the bodice.

The bodice is lined with glazed cotton, boned at the centre back, sides and front darts, and has a tape-waistband fastening with brass metal hook and eyes stamped into white tape. It has been slightly let out at the side seams.

The skirt has its silk over tape waistband attached to the bodice lining at the centre back. and at each side with a row of stitching. It fastens at the front with two brass metal hooks and eyes. It has 4.5 breadths and is flat pleated away from a panel in the centre front towards a tightly gathered panel at the centre back. It is lined with stiffening cotton and has a silk pocket on the right side of the front. The hem is faced with lilac silk brush braid.

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)


1855-1860 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk taffeta trimmed with ruched bands, pleated machine-made lace, lined with cotton, boned, braided, with brass hooks and eyes


Width: 29 in silk, Width: 135 in skirt at hem approx., Circumference: 23 in waist, Circumference: 34 in bust

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1985/2322.

Letter from owner (30/1/1986): Dress belonged to his grandmother, Louise Melanie, married to Sir Colville Barclay, 11th Baronet of Pierston, on 8th May 1855. She was the daughter of Edouard de Belzim of Mauritius, where they married. Sir Colville was born in Mauritius on 20th December 1829. He entered the Colonial Service in 1845 and filled the office of Receiver General in Mauritius and Auditor General in Ceylon, with a seat in the Legislative and Executive Councils in both colonies. He was made CMG on his retirement. He died in Paris on 18th February 1896.

The owner does not know if the dress was imported from France or made in Mauritius.

There is a photograph in the Register of Lady Barclay wearing a similar dress, dated 24th June 1860, Paris. Possibly updating dress T.512 to 1860.

Descriptive line

Day dress made from silk taffeta, possibly made in France, 1855-1860

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

Le Follet.


Taffeta; Silk (textile); Cotton (textile); Brass (alloy)


Trimmed; Pleated; Machine-made lace; Lined; Boned; Braided

Subjects depicted

Stripes; Floral; Scalloped


Day wear; Women's clothes; Fashion; Lace


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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