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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (woven)
    United Kingdom (made)
    England (made)

  • Date:

    1610-1615 (made)
    1600 (woven)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, fustian and ribbon, hand sewn with silk and linen threads

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This loose gown made of Italian brocaded silk would have been worn by a woman in the early 17th century as part of a formal day ensemble. A bodice and petticoat of equally luxurious, although not necessarily matching materials would have been worn underneath. The silk has been slashed between the brocaded motifs. This was a popular decorative technique during the 16th and early 17th centuries. At the centre back of the gown’s small upright collar are two holes to fasten a support for an elaborate lace collar.

Physical description

This is a sleeveless open gown of Italian cream silk brocaded in repeating stylised floral motifs in green, pink, yellow and blue silk. Diagonal slashes have been carefully worked between the woven motifs. There is a small circular collar at the back with two eyelets, and shoulder wings. The gown is box-pleated at the upper back and sewn to a inner pad-stitched fustian yoke. Salmon pink corded silk once trimmed the shoulder wings and shoulder seams, with a silver lace or braid applied over top, long since removed.

The slashing has been reinforced on the inside with a conservation lining; the selvedges are still visible.

Place of Origin

Italy (woven)
United Kingdom (made)
England (made)


1610-1615 (made)
1600 (woven)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, fustian and ribbon, hand sewn with silk and linen threads


Width: 21 in width of silk, selvedge to selvedge, Length: 147.5 cm neck to hem at back

Object history note

Part of the Isham collection purchased from Captain Charles Vere in 1900, comprising 17th century garments from his ancestors

Descriptive line

Woman's gown, 1600-10, Italian; slashed, figured and brocaded cream silk

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

Four Hundred Years of Fashion, V&A, 1982/1992, p.121


Silk; Fustian; Ribbon; Silk thread; Linen thread


Hand sewing; Brocading; Slashed


Formal wear; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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