This was probably a polonaise. Amazing rare 1780's print. Indienne prints were printed or painted in India, the Europeans copying in 1759. Printed cottons were hugely popular for both furnishing and dress with their exotic bright polychrome colours and because they could be washed. They were called Indienne meaning from India, whilst in France they were called toile peinte (hand painted cloth) and in England chintz derived from the Hindi word chint meaning a brightly painted cotton. See: Fashion. The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Insitute p 102.
open robe of hand block wood printed cotton , the ruffled large neck with front opening, full skirt with two pocket openings, doubled ruffled below elbow sleeves, the bodice lined with white linen, the creamy background cotton printed with an informal trellis design of large indigo, madder and ochre Indian inspired flowers, with intricate fillings, tendrils and leaves, shoulder to back hem 59 in; 1.50 cm
The front bodice has had seven eyelet holes to each side made and edged in red silks which have run. The red silk needs to be removed Obviously this was for fancy dress probably in the 20th c. The dress overall looks fresh and in good condition. There is a small v shaped tear on the right hand side, as you look at the dress, top near shoulder, 1/2 in. longest side. There is a small hole to right hand side of skirt 1/4 in. dia. Fabric from the hem could be used to conserve both of these. The fabric has slightly faded and you only notice this when you see the back of the robe and notice the richer cream shade at the pleated waist. The back of the robe has some brown markings, qujite feint and there is a large tear where the 20th century wearer trod on the hem. 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 in deep. This could easily be conserved. What is really nice to see are the wood block registration marks about 14 1/2 in. apart.
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