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Dress and spencer jacket

Dress and spencer jacket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1823 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Figured silk, trimmed with silk, lined with silk, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ensemble represents a very high standard in the quality of its workmanship. It is elaborately decorated with piping (very thin rolls of fabric) and appliqué. The collar of the jacket is constructed to resemble the slashing of 16th and 17th century fashions. The multiple puffs of the sleeve are similarly inspired. Such historicism in dress is typical of the Romantic period of the 19th century. The jacket covers the arms and neck and makes the outfit suitable for day wear. When removed, it reveals a short-sleeved, low-neck dress that would be appropriate for the evening.

Physical description

Dress and spencer jacket made from pink silk with a figured leaf design.

The dress has a low rounded neckline, and a high-waisted bodice fastened at the back with an attached belt. The skirt is gored, though the whole breadths are not cut away, and is pleated at the centre of the back. The matching jacket has a turned down collar and long sleeves arranged in puffs which diminish slightly towards the wrist. It has an attached belt trimmed with loops and a silk waist ribbon. Bodice and jacket are lined with silk. The dress is remarkable for the quality and variety of its faced and applied decoration. There are faced slits which stiffen the collar, leaf shapes on the jacket, petal shapes on the bodice and a deep scalloped satin border with a padded hem.

The matching jacket would make the dress suitable for less formal occasions.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1823 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Figured silk, trimmed with silk, lined with silk, hand-sewn

Object history note

This was said to be associated with a wedding in the vendor's family, though there is no further information.
Came in with a group of dresses, dating from the 1760s -1840s. The remainder sold at Christie's of South Kensington

Descriptive line

Dress and spencer jacket made from silk, England, ca. 1823

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Silk similar to this appears in pattern book T.385-1972, dated 1823 - found by Wendy Hefford, summer 1983.
Sleeves with puffs illustrated 1 August 1816, La Belle Assemblee, 'Parisian Walking Dress'
Sleeves with graduated puffs, Ackermann's Repository, 1 September 1824.
On display - Costume Court, 1983




Weaving; Weaving; Technique


Women's clothes; Day wear; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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