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Mantua

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    1748-1750 (weaving)
    1760-1770 (sewing)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven brocade and fringe, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs P. Lloyd

  • Museum number:

    T.120 to B-1961

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This mantua is typical in style and construction of the 1760s. By this time, it was worn only by aristocratic ladies for ceremonies at court. The petticoat is still very wide, but now with sloping sides and worn over a hoop known as ‘fan-shaped’. The gown, and in particular the stomacher, are elaborately decorated with a braid of various silks, called ‘fly fringe’, which was very popular from the 1750s to the 1770s. The bright colours and curvilinear arrangement of the trimmings indicate the Rococo style in dress.

Physical description

A woman's court mantua, petticoat and stomacher of cream silk is woven with red-pink and yellow-orange floral sprays on a ground of self coloured cannele stripes between which are spaced rows of self-coloured feathers. The mantua is open at the front with robings to the waist and elbow-length sleeves with triple, scalloped sleeve ruffles. The bodice and sleeves are lined wth bleached linen; the sleeve ruffles with white silk taffeta. The mantua is made of three widths of silk. The centre panel forms the back and is shaped with stitched pleats. The wrong sides of the side panels are sewn the right sides of the centre back panel, so they fold back and meet at centre back. The robings are made of gathered silk and extend around the back neck, down the robings and around the waist to form a bow at the centre back. The ruchings and sleeve ruffles are edged with a fringe of white silk gimp woven with yellow and red floss silk and white and red floss silk knots.

The petticoat is made of 8 widths of silk, with triangular gores at the side seams and shaped for a fan-shaped French hoop. The sides of the petticoat and back waist are lightly pleated. The waist is bound with a silk ribbon. The top of the petticoat sides and pocket openings are edged with ruching trimmed with the silk fringe.

The stomacher is a rounded triangle of silk, unlined, decorated with ruching trimmed with silk fringe and arranged in curvilinear bands.

Place of Origin

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

Date

1748-1750 (weaving)
1760-1770 (sewing)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven brocade and fringe, hand-sewn

Dimensions

Width: 50.7 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge

Descriptive line

A woman's mantua, petticoat and stomacher, 1755-1760, English; striped, figured cream silk, brocaded with floral sprigs, Spitalfields, 1748-1750

Materials

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

Techniques

Hand weaving; Brocading; Fringing; Hand sewing

Categories

Women's clothes; Formal wear; Fashion; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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