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Dress fabric and paper
  • Dress fabric and paper
    Peter Robinson's Mourning Warehouse
  • Enlarge image

Dress fabric and paper

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Peter Robinson's Mourning Warehouse (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk and printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J. M. Beard

  • Museum number:

    T.115:1, 2-1998

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125b, case 1 []

This is a length of seven yards (1.15 metres) of good quality dress silk purchased to be made up by the customer's own dressmaker as a lady's mourning dress. Victorian etiquette demanded that upon a death the whole household went into black (mourning) clothing, including children and servants. The severity of the mourning depended on the closeness of the relationship. Concessions in the form of added decoration and, ultimately, the use of colours such as grey, mauve and white, could later be adopted.

The silk was purchased from a branch of Peter Robinson's shop devoted to mourning wear. It retains its original wrapper on which is printed the legend 'From Peter Robinson/Mourning Warehouse/ Regent Street/W'. Peter Robinson's linen drapers shop originally opened in 1833 at 103 Oxford Street.

The mourning shop, which opened some years later was one of many taking advantage of a rise in mourning trade. It was nicknamed 'Black Peter Robinson's' and shop assistants there offered customers advice on the appropriate level of mourning . The shop catered for a wide range of customers from the middle-classes down to the upper ranks of the working classes.

Physical description

Length of dress fabric in black silk for mourning wear. With printed wrapping paper.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1890 (made)


Peter Robinson's Mourning Warehouse (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silk and printed paper


Length: 1150 cm, Width: 58.4 cm

Descriptive line

Length of dress fabric in silk with printed wrapping paper, made by Peter Robinson's Mourning Warehouse, England, ca. 1890

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Certain shops specialised in mourning wear. It was possible to purchase lengths of suitable material as well as ready-to-wear mourning clothes. The wrapper for this length of silk shows that it came from one of the most popular suppliers, Robinson's Mourning Warehouse of Regent Street, London. [27/03/2003]


Silk (textile); Paper


Weaving; Printed


Death; Textiles; British Galleries; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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