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  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    1740s (weaving)
    1780s (sewing)
    1879 - 1910 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread; hand-woven brocade, hand-sewn, pinked

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs H. A. Skelton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A woman's gown and stomacher of ivory silk with a figured horizontal zig-zag pattern, and vertical stripes in maroon shading through to pink. The silk is brocaded in a pattern of alternating large detached floral sprays curving round the vertical stripes. The flowers include shaded blue dog-roses, shaded pink ranunculus, maroon and pale blue tulips, yellow dog-roses, and maroon and pink michaelmas daisies.The gown is open at the front with shaped, elbow-length sleeves. The bodice and skirt are cut separately and seamed at the waist. The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen. The tapering pleats at the back are stitched down; the waistline is straight. The skirt is made of 7 widths of silk, flat-pleated into the waist seam with an inverted box pleat at centre back. The hem is partially faced with a deep band of white silk taffeta. A narrow ruching of scalloped, pinked and box-pleated silk runs around the back neck and down the bodice fronts. Two parallel narrower ruchings trim the sleeves.

The gown has probably been updated in the 1780s. The side seams of the bodice were taken in and the sleeves re-set. The waist seam was unpicked and reconfigured to a higher line at the back. The sleeves were probably reconfigured at this time.

The gown was altered for fancy dress in the late 19th century. The stomacher was probably made at this time, pieced from the silk. A vertical frill of self-material stitched down the centre front, is a different width from those trimming the robe and graduated in size, is probably removed from another part of the gown. The stomacher is liined with linen,with worked bars on the left side. It is stiiched to the right bodice lining. Flat brass metal hooks were added to the left bodice front for fastening.

Place of Origin

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


1740s (weaving)
1780s (sewing)
1879 - 1910 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread; hand-woven brocade, hand-sewn, pinked


Length: 137.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, :, Circumference: 92.0 cm bust under armholes, including stomacher approx, Width: 53.0 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's gown and stomacher, 1780s, English; Ivory figured silk, purple stripes, brocaded with coloured floral sprays, 1740s, Spitalfields; altered 1870-1910


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


Hand weaving; Brocading; Hand sewing; Pinking


Women's clothes; Textiles

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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