In common with the gown seen as a Related Item, the 1720s silk from which it was made predates the 1750s style of the dress. These lace-patterned silks, at their height in the 1720s, were characterised by the symmetry, from a vertical axis, of their delicate lacy designs. In this example the design is dark on a light ground, that of the related gown is light on a dark ground; both have small brocaded flowers in contrasting colours. As the fragile gown has been photographed flat it is possible to see the reverse of the fabric in the image. The suitability of these silks to the wide skirts of the 1720s is evident in Antoine Hérisset’s etchings Recueil des différents modes du temps.

The gown is one of a number of fine 18th century garments in the John Bright Collection originally belonging to a well-to-do West Country farming family.

Additional Images

  • Gown

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