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Banyan
  • Banyan
    Garthwaite, Anna Maria, born 1690 - died 1763
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Banyan

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1740-1750 (woven)
    1750-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Garthwaite, Anna Maria, born 1690 - died 1763 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk damask, lined with silk taffeta and linen, hand-sewn with silk and linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Friends of the V&A, and a number of private donors

  • Museum number:

    T.92-2003

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an unusual example of a banyan or nightgown for a woman. In the 1650s, the introduction of the Japanese kimono to Western society by the Dutch East India Company started a fashion for these simple loose garments. While it was difficult to import traditional kimonos from Japan, English tailors were soon making them up in the most fashionable silks. The woman’s banyan remained an informal garment throughout the 18th century. It would have been worn over stays and petticoats in the privacy of home, either in the morning before dressing formally for the day or in the evening before changing for bed.

This particular example from the period 1750 to 1770 combines the traditional T-shape of a kimono with the conventional European shaping for a woman’s gown at the back and sides.

Physical description

A T-shaped garment, open at front, with sleeves reaching to the forearm with a turn-back cuff, made of green silk damask and lined with green silk taffeta and beige linen. There is one pleat on either side of the front and one tapered box pleat at the centre back. There are gores inserted and pleated into the side seams. Although the banyan is extensively pieced with no complete repeat of the damask pattern, there is no sign of previous folds or stitching.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1740-1750 (woven)
1750-1760 (made)

Artist/maker

Garthwaite, Anna Maria, born 1690 - died 1763 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Silk damask, lined with silk taffeta and linen, hand-sewn with silk and linen thread

Dimensions

Length: 145.0 cm overall at back, Circumference: 97.5 cm at chest

Object history note

Formerly part of the Castle Howard Costume collection, the private collection of George Howard. Purchased on 7 October 2003 from the Sotheby's.

Historical significance: An unusual example of a banyan or nightgown for a woman. It combines the T-shape of a man's nightgown inspired by the Japanese kimono with the traditional shaping at the back and sides for a woman's gown. This would have been worn informally in the privacy of home.

Materials

Silk; Linen

Techniques

Hand sewing

Categories

Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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