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Wedding Dress

1841 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This wedding dress was worn in 1841 by an unknown but fashionable bride. The period 1838-1841 was a transitional period during which full, puffed sleeves and short-waisted bodices gave way to a slimmer, elongated silhouette, as exemplified by this gown's long-waisted, form-fitting bodice with narrow sleeves. The sleeves and skirt are trimmed with gathered tulle and applied strips of braid and buttons. The cream silk satin fabric is figured with flower-baskets, stripes and floral sprays.

This was an extremely sophisticated dress for 1841. The low-cut neckline is an especially modish feature which appears in fashion plates of the decade. Many nineteenth century brides wore matching capes or pelerines over low-cut bodices, or covered exposed necks and upper chests with high-necked chemisettes.
read Corsets, crinolines and bustles: fashionable Victorian underwear
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
figured silk satin with net and lace trimming
Brief Description
Cream figured silk satin wedding dress with silk net and lace trimming
Physical Description
Cream figured silk satin dress with tight bodice, low V neckline and slim fitting sleeves. Elbow flounce over net and lace elbow puff and tight forearm sleeve. Trimmed with decorative silk buttons and puffs of net. The bodice is lined with grey silk, while the skirt is lined with grey cotton.
Dimensions
  • Waist circumference: 58cm
  • Bust circumference: 80cm
  • Across back width: 30cm
  • Shoulder to shoulder width: 35.5cm
  • Bodice length: 32cm
  • Overall length length: 137cm
  • Skirt length: 105cm
  • Hem circumference: 332cm
  • Sleeve length: 55cm
  • Wristband circumference: 14cm
Dimensions taken by Conservation for Wedding Dress mounting, 2009
Gallery Label
Cream silk wedding dress Britain 1841 The cut, fabric and trimmings of this dress and its high-quality manufacture suggest that it was worn by a bride with access to the latest fashions and a skilful dressmaker. Instead of plain silk, the bride chose a fabric with a delicate floral pattern. Silk, bodice lined with silk, skirt lined with cotton Given by Miss H. Bousfield V&A:T.17-1920(2011)
Credit line
Given by Miss H. Bousfield
Object history
This dress is associated with a wedding that took place in 1841, although no provenance details have been recorded.
Summary
This wedding dress was worn in 1841 by an unknown but fashionable bride. The period 1838-1841 was a transitional period during which full, puffed sleeves and short-waisted bodices gave way to a slimmer, elongated silhouette, as exemplified by this gown's long-waisted, form-fitting bodice with narrow sleeves. The sleeves and skirt are trimmed with gathered tulle and applied strips of braid and buttons. The cream silk satin fabric is figured with flower-baskets, stripes and floral sprays.



This was an extremely sophisticated dress for 1841. The low-cut neckline is an especially modish feature which appears in fashion plates of the decade. Many nineteenth century brides wore matching capes or pelerines over low-cut bodices, or covered exposed necks and upper chests with high-necked chemisettes.
Collection
Accession Number
T.17-1920

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record createdSeptember 11, 2008
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