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Dress

Dress

Dress

Circa 1830

Silk embroidered with silk and metallic thread

Reconstructed waistband and lining

This dress shares many characteristics of the example shown as a Related Item – very full puffed sleeves, gathering across the bodice, a waistband defining a narrow waist, and a bell shaped skirt with a band of floral embroidery running around it. Placed on a ground of fine translucent organza rather than stout cotton, the embroidered band has been worked in polychrome silks and gilt thread rather than monochrome cotton, but both share a lively, linear design of small flowers and foliage. The metallic thread is also used for the gold spots covering the rest of the dress; now tarnished with age to appear darker, their original brightness would have produced a spectacular effect.

The waistband has been reconstructed with a silk ribbon. An 1830s portrait of Louisa Lamb of Jersey (https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/louisa-lamb-wife-of-john-aubin-137063) shows her wearing a similar diaphanous white dress embroidered with a band of coloured flowers around the skirt and on the belt, suggesting that our dress may also have had a matching floral belt or waistband.

 

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