A Favorite Of The Empress

Cage Crinoline
1860-1865 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Fashion, Room 40
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Crinoline consisting of a spring steel frame covered with red wool and linen. Red and white striped woven waistband fastened with stamped metal hooks and eyes, and to the back of which is attached a semi-circular red wool back panel lined with white cotton and machine stitched in white from which hang a red diamond pattern woven woollen tapes which are threaded spring steels covered with braid woven wool which wrap over to fasten with a brass metal clamp in front. The hoops reach from the sides around the back to knee level and from there to the base and around the whole of the body. The outline is circular with extra fullness at the back. The bottom row of steels are covered with a red wool 'skirt'. Extra fullness is created at the top back with half hoops.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Spring steel, woven wool, linen, lined with cotton, and brass
Brief Description
Crinoline 'A Favorite Of The Empress' consisting of a spring steel frame covered with red wool and linen, probably made in Great Britain, 1860-1865.
Physical Description
Crinoline consisting of a spring steel frame covered with red wool and linen. Red and white striped woven waistband fastened with stamped metal hooks and eyes, and to the back of which is attached a semi-circular red wool back panel lined with white cotton and machine stitched in white from which hang a red diamond pattern woven woollen tapes which are threaded spring steels covered with braid woven wool which wrap over to fasten with a brass metal clamp in front. The hoops reach from the sides around the back to knee level and from there to the base and around the whole of the body. The outline is circular with extra fullness at the back. The bottom row of steels are covered with a red wool 'skirt'. Extra fullness is created at the top back with half hoops.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 93cm
  • Waist to hem, straight down height: 80cm
  • Round bottom circumference: 235cm
  • Circumference: 14in
Marks and Inscriptions
'A FAVORITE OF THE EMPRESS' (Stamped on waistband)
Gallery Label
CAGE CRINOLINE (centre) Red wool and linen; spring steel frame; waistband fastened with hooks British, about 1860 The word 'crinoline' was first used in the 1840s to describe petticoats lined with horsehair cloth. These were worn with up to 8 petticoats to help support the fashionable wide skirt. Sometimes padding had to be used to give the correct shape. By 1856, ever widening skirts meant the weight of these petticoats became very uncomfortable. Attempts were made to solve this problem, including petticoats made from inflatable rubber tubes. These were a failure owing to unexpected punctures! The 'artificial', or 'cage' crinoline appeared in 1857 as a welcome and more practical alternative. It was made of spring steel hoops, increasing in diameter towards the bottom and connected with tapes. The earliest cage crinolines were bell-shaped. Given by Mrs A.E. Valdez T.150-1986
Credit line
Given by Mrs A. E. Valdez
Object history
Registered File number 1986/1672.
Historical context
The word 'crinoline' was first used in the 1840s to describe petticoats lined with horsehair cloth. These were worn with up to 8 petticoats to help support the fashionable wide skirt. Sometimes padding had to be used to give the correct shape.



By 1856, ever widening skirts meant the weight of these petticoats became very uncomfortable. Attempts were made to solve this problem, including petticoats made from inflatable rubber tubes. These were a failure owing to unexpected punctures!



The 'artificial', or 'cage' crinoline appeared in 1857 as a welcome and more practical alternative. It was made of spring steel hoops, increasing in diameter towards the bottom and connected with tapes. The earliest cage crinolines were bell-shaped.
Collection
Accession Number
T.150-1986

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record createdMay 16, 2001
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