Court Dress thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Court Dress

1860-1865 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The combination of court dress and the 1860s crinoline makes for a most splendid garment. Dress worn to court was the most elaborate and expensive ensemble in a lady’s wardrobe. This example characterises the rich embellishment of this type of dress, decorated with hand and machine embroidery, ribbons and silk gauze. Although presentations at court took place during the day, the arms and shoulders were bare as in evening dress. In addition to a skirt worn over a very large crinoline, a train extending for several metres was an essential feature of court dress. Young debutantes would spend hours practising how to curtsey and walk backward in such an elaborate ensemble before their first presentation at court.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Skirt
  • Bodice
  • Bodice
  • Train (Costume Component)
Materials and Techniques
Silk and silk tulle decorated with hand and machine embroidery, ribbons and silk gauze
Brief Description
Court dress with bodice, skirt and train of embroidered silk and silk tulle, made in Great Britain, 1860-1865
Physical Description
Court dress of ivory silk and silk tulle, trimmed with hand and machined embroidery. The silk-lined, boned bodice laces at the back and has a pointed waist. The low neck and short sleeves are trimmed with tiers of net, machine embroidered in yellow chain stitch which is also on the front of the bodice, where it is edged with ruched yellow and white gauze ribbon. The net flounce is hand-embroidered with floral motifs, and yellow machine embroidery. An 11ft. tulle train is attached to waist, the edges trimmed with machine embroidered net-insertion with pleated ribbon borders, the remainder hand-embroidered in satin stitch with roses and morning glory.
Credit line
Given by Madame Tussaud
Summary
The combination of court dress and the 1860s crinoline makes for a most splendid garment. Dress worn to court was the most elaborate and expensive ensemble in a lady’s wardrobe. This example characterises the rich embellishment of this type of dress, decorated with hand and machine embroidery, ribbons and silk gauze. Although presentations at court took place during the day, the arms and shoulders were bare as in evening dress. In addition to a skirt worn over a very large crinoline, a train extending for several metres was an essential feature of court dress. Young debutantes would spend hours practising how to curtsey and walk backward in such an elaborate ensemble before their first presentation at court.
Collection
Accession Number
T.329 to B, AA-1977

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record createdFebruary 17, 2003
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