The John Bright Collection contains many examples of 19th Century dresses that, while in keeping with the styles of the day, incorporate features based upon dress of the past.
This evening dress, and the day dress seen as a Related Item, both of the 1840s, show an eclectic mix of 17th Century elements. Its deep ‘stomacher’ bodice front with central pendants and wide neckline and its basqued skirt, and the day dress’s glossy satin, mock front skirt opening, laced deep collar, and defining use of decorative braid all hark back around two hundred years.
The evening dress shows similarities with Queen Victoria’s, albeit grander, costume made for the Restoration Ball held by the Queen and her consort in 1851 that is now in the Royal Collection. Guests were asked to dress in the style of the court of Charles II, restored to the throne in 1660. A deep collar of 17th Century style lace, like that seen on the Queen’s dress, may have adorned the plain neckline of our dress.