Baby's Dress

about 1952 (made)
We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: B.16-2002
Find out about our images

Not currently on display at the V&A

Place Of Origin

Baby's yoked short dress of unlined white cotton lawn, hand embroidered in coloured silks with national emblems of the UK, using mainly satin and stem stitches. The dress has a rounded neck and short puffed sleeves with narrow cuffs, all with a scalloped edge worked with pale blue thread in buttonhole stitch. The centre front of the yoke is embroidered with a pink rose and bud, with a narrow line of faggotting and a spray of shamrock at each side; the back yoke is plain. The skirt, which is gathered to the yoke at front and back, has a hem with a serpentine upper edge, scalloped and worked with pale blue thread in buttonhole stitch. National emblems of the UK are worked in coloured silks above the hem at the front: a central rose with a sequence of leek, thistle, leek and shamrock on each side; among the emblems on bodice and skirt are scattered motifs of the typical four-petalled flower found on children's garments with Madeira embroidery of this type, with french knots and small sprays of foliage. The garment fastens at the back of the yoke with two pearlised buttons and stitched buttonholes.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton lawn with hand embroidery in coloured silks
Brief Description
Baby's dress of white cotton lawn with embroidery in coloured silks; Madeira, about 1952
Physical Description
Baby's yoked short dress of unlined white cotton lawn, hand embroidered in coloured silks with national emblems of the UK, using mainly satin and stem stitches. The dress has a rounded neck and short puffed sleeves with narrow cuffs, all with a scalloped edge worked with pale blue thread in buttonhole stitch. The centre front of the yoke is embroidered with a pink rose and bud, with a narrow line of faggotting and a spray of shamrock at each side; the back yoke is plain. The skirt, which is gathered to the yoke at front and back, has a hem with a serpentine upper edge, scalloped and worked with pale blue thread in buttonhole stitch. National emblems of the UK are worked in coloured silks above the hem at the front: a central rose with a sequence of leek, thistle, leek and shamrock on each side; among the emblems on bodice and skirt are scattered motifs of the typical four-petalled flower found on children's garments with Madeira embroidery of this type, with french knots and small sprays of foliage. The garment fastens at the back of the yoke with two pearlised buttons and stitched buttonholes.
Dimensions
  • Centre back length: 39.5cm
Production typeReady to wear
Marks and Inscriptions
16/ HAND MADE/ IN/ Madeira/ PORTUGAL (Textual information; neck back opening, true left side; weaving)
Credit line
Given by Diana Glover
Object history
The donor's recollection is that the dress was bought by her sister-in-law on a holiday on the island of Madeira in the winter of 1952-53. It was given to the donor for her daughter Rosemary Glover (born 06/08/1953), who was the only girl among several babies born in the family that year.
Production
Attribution note: Children's garments with Madeira embroidery of this type are usually worked in white or blue or cream, with a fairly small range of motifs (most typically a flower with four rounded petals, and simple bird and animal motifs). They were usually produced with the tourist trade in mind, and the advent of Elizabeth II in 1952, and her impending coronation, is likely to have been the impetus for the use of the UK national emblems (and probably the use of multicoloured embroidery silks).

Reason For Production: Retail
Subjects depicted
Collection
Accession Number
B.16-2002

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdApril 23, 2002
Record URL