Many examples of fancy dress in the John Bright Collection attest to the popularity of home-made costumes for parties, carnivals and tableaux. This dress, representing the board game of Snakes and Ladders, is a particularly good example of the amount of time, effort, skill, ingenuity and engagement that went into its creation.
The base garment of cotton sateen is simply constructed, partly sewn by hand, partly by machine. Commercially-printed Snakes and Ladders boards have been applied to the front and back of the bodice. The skirt has been divided into a grid of hand sewn black cotton tape, forming a further board, each square applied with a hand-written number. The ladders have been cut out of brown wrapping paper, the snakes of roughly painted fabric, and the counters of painted card; all have been applied with glue. The hem has been shortened at some stage, truncating the squares above it.