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Silk Polonaise
1770-80

The raspberry shade is delicious and the very delicate and pretty ivory with pink hue goes very well. The diamond pyramids are not very usual. I love the sleeve ruching. Bradfield, Nancy Costume in Detail p 51

Description

of raspberry silk, the closed front bodice with a ruched frill to neckline, edged with narrow scalloped braid in same colour and white detail, the back with flared pleats from centre back neck to waist, the below elbow length sleeves ruched and with similar trim, all lined with white cotton, the skirt full the back with fine pleating either side of the central back pleats together with silk covered buttons, for looping of the cords, to form the polonaise, the sides and deep hem lined with a fine yellow silk , twisted silk cords to back, back neck to hem 53 in; 1.35 cm together with a quilted petticoat of palest shell pink silk with large scallop shapes to the main area 4 1/2 in; 12 cm wide, the hem area with a leafy meander above diamond filled pyramids, the waistband of deep rose pink silk fastening at the sides, lined with cream glazed worsted, silk quilting thread, 34 in; 87 cm d; 9 ft 8 in; 2.65 m circ

Condition

The dress is in excellent condition, just needs pressing. Considering the age and delicacy of the petticoat the condition is good. The pleating is original. Although the waistband looks authentic my guess is that it has been replaced. The ties have disappeared. The centre front has two 2 in x 1/2 in. areas of wear and slight staining. There is a small light brown mark to the right hand side of the petticoat. The silk has worn both sides near the waistband, obviously through handling, There is a 1 x 1/2 in stain to lower left. The back is in worse condition. Of course if placed on a mannequin this would be concealed. Wear to waistband sides. There is an area 9 x 5 in where the silk batting can be seen. Someone has tried to use iron on material to stabilise it. This could come off and be conserved in a more sympathetic way. Small area near hem with similar work. Three more small areas of wear. There is also some light discolouration particularly to the lower area of the petticoat. Photos available of all damage.

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