dress (dress)

Costume and Textiles


The silk used to make this formal gown was produced in China for the European market. The floral pattern was chosen to reflect Western tastes and hand-painted onto the silk. Similar examples survive in museum collections elsewhere, and mostly seem to date from the 1760s and 1770s when these designs were popular.
Hand-painted Chinese silks seem to have been a fashionable alternative to woven silk brocades and embroidered materials, suitable for a formal gown such as this one with its loose sack back and wide skirt intended to be worn over a hoop. Donated to the museum by Mrs Royd of Sidmouth in 1968, the gown had been altered for a child’s fancy dress costume.

This object is not on display.

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