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Gown, black embroidered satin

1770s, remade from earlier style.
Origin: Great Britain, England
OL: 65"; Waist approx.: 27" from outside
Black silk satin; silk needlework; linen and cotton bodice and sleeve linings.
Gift of Mrs. Cora Ginsburg
Acc. No. 1991-474,A
Woman's gown of black silk satin, embroidered in multicolor flowers with pinks, blues and creams predominating. Bodice has low squared neckline, with button-front stomacher, edged with self-fabric ruching and multicolor tied fringe (also known as "fly fringe"). Sleeves are tight, curving to fit over the elbow, ending with wide band of ruched fabric gathered up over the elbow and edged with fringe. Self-fabric ruching and fringe continue down the fronts of the open skirt in serpentine lines. Bodice back is pleated to fit close to the body, with the central pleat extending in unbroken line into the skirt (English back or robe a l'Anglaise). Skirt is long and trained at back, probably intended to be drawn up in polonaise. Two buttons sewn to rear waist suggests that tapes were looped over them for polonaise.

Gown has a fragmentary petticoat, embroidered and trimmed like the gown, and a stomacher left from an earlier styling of the garment.