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  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, weaving)
    England (gown, sewing)

  • Date:

    1760 - 1770 (weaving)
    1780 - 1785 (sewing)
    1870 - 1910 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Eleanor F Trouncer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A woman's gown of cerise silk. It is open at the front, with shaped elbow-length sleeves. The bodice meets at centre front. The bodice and skirt are cut separately and seamed at the waist. The back is cut in 4 shaped pieces, tapering to a point below the waist at centre back. The bodice pieces are lined with linen then stitched together; channels stitched in the lining at centre back hold two bones. The sleeves are lined with linen. The skirt is made of 3 widths of silk, with a pieced, partial panel on each side of the front. The skirt is finely flat-pleated into the waistseam, and held in place with stitching 1 cm below the seam. A ruching of scalloped, pinked and box-pleated silk edges the neck and sleeves. A narrower ruching runs along the lower edge of the bodice fronts. A wide ruching of van-dyked, pinked and box-pleated silk edges the front openings of the skirt and bottom front hems.

Fold marks and piecings indicate that the gown was made over from an earlier garment. The style of ruchings suggests a 1770s style.

The gown was altered for fancy dress in the late 19th century, for a larger wearer. The sleeves were unpicked from the bodice, the sleeve seams let out, and resewn by machine and machine-stitched to the bodice. The centre back seam was partially unpicked and lacing holes and a yellow silk cord added either side of the centre back bones. This was covered with a triangular piece of silk, edged with silk. Boning and lacing holes were added to the bodice fronts, and bobbin lace ruffles stitched to the sleeves. The linen tapes and silk loops on the inside waist and skirts were probably added at this time.

Place of Origin

England (probably, weaving)
England (gown, sewing)


1760 - 1770 (weaving)
1780 - 1785 (sewing)
1870 - 1910 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

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


Length: 149.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Circumference: 90.0 cm bust under armholes approx, Width: 60.5 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's gown, 1780-1785, English; Cerise silk, with pinked trimming; altered 1870-1910


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


Hand weaving; Hand sewing; Pinking


Women's clothes

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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