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Gown

1770-1780
Origin: England
OL: 54" Waist 24 1/2" Textile width 19 1/4" Selvage 1/4", striped grey/white/grey. Lining thread count 60 warps X 48 wefts/inch. Skirt stitched with 7 running stitches per inch.
Ribbed silk embroidered with silk in chain stitches, trimmed with silk "fly" fringe; linen bodice and sleeve linings.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1953-850
Woman's gown of bright yellow ribbed silk embroidered with blue silk in an all-over pattern of serpentine vines and floral sprigs forming vertical stripes, all trimmed with blue silk fly fringe. The gown has a fitted bodice with attached stomacher having decorative center-front buttons (non functional). Stomacher is stitched in place under the right robing, with hooks and eyes at the left. Bodice has squared neckline, with flat pleated robings trimming the neckline and extending to the waist in front, terminating in a flat bow at center front waist. (The bow may not be in its original position.) Elbow-length sleeves end with double scalloped ruffles edged with fly fringe; sleeves are weighted at elbows. Skirt is open at center front to reveal petticoat (missing), pleated to bodice with one-inch pleats. Back of gown is fitted, with stitched-down pleats extending into the skirt at center back ("English back" or "robe a l'anglaise"). Bodice and sleeves are lined with linen; skirt is unlined.

Construction History:
1. Ca. 1770: Gown is originally constructed. Embroidery is done after the gown is made as it goes over the seams and through the center back lining.

2. Ca. 1930: Gown goes on display at the London Museum, Lancaster House and may have seen some restoration work. Weights in the sleeves may have been added at this point for display.

3. 1955: Ernest Lanono at 235 East 42nd Street, New York City is paid for "Cleaning, repairing, and restoring yellow embroidered dress." The gown was certainly wet washed in order to reduce a large tideline at the center back when compared to earlier photographs.
Provenance:Ex. coll. James Frere