Sack thumbnail 1
Sack thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Sack

1735-1760 (painting), 1760s (sewing)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This elegant robe and petticoat are fine examples of women's formal day wear in the early 1760s. The sack was a popular style of dress, with the fabric at the back arranged in box pleats at the shoulders and falling loose to the floor with a slight train. The wide square hoop worn under the petticoat is slightly old-fashioned, but appropriate for formal occasions. In cut, fabric and design, the ensemble is a fine example of rococo design in fashion. The white silk painted in a variety of bright colours reflects the rococo palette, while the scalloped sleeve cuffs and gathered robings create a decorative surface pattern.

The silk was woven and hand-painted in China. The design of fanciful flowers shows the Western influence; the Chinese artists were using patterns send from Britain to make silks expressly for the European market. The outlines of the design was first printed on the reverse of the silk and the areas to be painted on the right side of the fabric covered with white lead paint. Pigments made from materials such as malachite (green), orpiment (yellow) and vermilion (red) delineate the floral pattern.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Sack
  • Petticoat
Materials and Techniques
Painted silk, chenille, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Sack and petticoat made in Great Britain, 1760s, of Chinese export painted silk satin, 1735-60
Physical Description
Sack and petticoat of painted Chinese export silk satin trimmed with silk braid. Painted with exotic flowers. The sack has elbow-length sleeves and sleeve ruffles of the same material. The front is decorated with ruched wavy bands of the same material, edged with chenille. With an open front.



The petticoat has small paniers. The front is decorated with ruched wavy bands of the same material decorated with chenille.
Subject depicted
Summary
This elegant robe and petticoat are fine examples of women's formal day wear in the early 1760s. The sack was a popular style of dress, with the fabric at the back arranged in box pleats at the shoulders and falling loose to the floor with a slight train. The wide square hoop worn under the petticoat is slightly old-fashioned, but appropriate for formal occasions. In cut, fabric and design, the ensemble is a fine example of rococo design in fashion. The white silk painted in a variety of bright colours reflects the rococo palette, while the scalloped sleeve cuffs and gathered robings create a decorative surface pattern.



The silk was woven and hand-painted in China. The design of fanciful flowers shows the Western influence; the Chinese artists were using patterns send from Britain to make silks expressly for the European market. The outlines of the design was first printed on the reverse of the silk and the areas to be painted on the right side of the fabric covered with white lead paint. Pigments made from materials such as malachite (green), orpiment (yellow) and vermilion (red) delineate the floral pattern.

Bibliographic Reference
Jackson, Anna & Jaffer, Amin (eds.) Encounters : the meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800, London, V&A, 2004
Collection
Accession Number
T.115&A-1953

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record createdMay 12, 2004
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