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  • Place of origin:

    Spitalfields (textile, weaving)
    England (gown, sewing)

  • Date:

    1745 - 1750 (weaving)
    1775 - 1780 (sewing)
    1870 - 1910 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, whale bone, metal; hand-woven brocade and fringe, hand-sewing, machine-sewing

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M. Rishbeth

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A woman's gown from cream satin with a brocaded pattern of undulating floral trails in pink, blue, green and brown. The gown has a fitted back, open front and elbow-length sleeves. The bodice is completely separate from the skirts, with a point at the centre back; the fronts meeting at the centre. The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen. The sleeves are shaped with a tuck on the inside arm just above the elbow. The sleeves are trimmed with a ruching of silk edged with a fringe of pink silk gimp and floss.

The gown has been made over in the late 1770s from some earlier garment. And additional 18 cm or so was added to the skirt at the hem, with some awkard piecings. The bodice cut off, reconfigured and resewn. The bodice fronts may have been cut anew; there are no signs of unpicked robings. The ruching and pink fringe were part of this earlier configuration, a strip was used to piece the lengthened hem. Pink buttons (one now missing) were sewn either side of the centre back on the outside, and pink cord loops on the inside waist to loop up the skirts.

In the late 19th century, the bodice front was boned, hooks & eyes added, and a length of fringed ruching added around the neck and to the right front.

At some point later, a facing of white silk was machine-stitched to the hem.

Place of Origin

Spitalfields (textile, weaving)
England (gown, sewing)


1745 - 1750 (weaving)
1775 - 1780 (sewing)
1870 - 1910 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, whale bone, metal; hand-woven brocade and fringe, hand-sewing, machine-sewing


Length: 136.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Circumference: 96.5 cm bust under armholes approx, :, Width: 56.4 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's gown, 1775-80, English; Cream satin, coloured floral sprays, Spitalifields, 1745-50; altered 1870-1910


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread; Linen thread; Whalebone; Metal


Hand weaving; Brocading; Hand sewing; Machine sewing


Women's clothes; Fashion


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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