Dress Fabric and Paper

ca. 1890 (made)
Dress Fabric and Paper thumbnail 1
Dress Fabric and Paper thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125b
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


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

  • Dress Fabric
  • Wrapping Paper
Materials and Techniques
Silk and printed paper
Brief Description
Length of dress fabric in silk with printed wrapping paper, made by Peter Robinson's Mourning Warehouse, England, ca. 1890
Physical Description
Length of dress fabric in black silk for mourning wear. With printed wrapping paper.
Dimensions
  • Length: 1150cm
  • Width: 58.4cm
Gallery Label
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)
Credit line
Given by Mrs J. M. Beard
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.115:1, 2-1998

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record createdMay 29, 2001
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