The pin striped silk is really lovely and lustrous and would have sparkled by candlelight. I think it is important to visualise these gowns by half light. The gown and petticoat look stunning on a mannequin. So nice to have the matching petticoat. The petticoat padded edging would of course have shown when the gown skirt was pulled up into a polonaise. The petticoat is of a most unusual format, with loops on the waistband to the two sides. The bulk of pleating would have therefor been at the sides, to emphasise the hips, so fashionable at this period.
The narrow striped taffeta silk in five shades of pink and cream, with a feint black and a raised woven stripe.
The bodice with a wide pleated scalloped frill to the square neck, front opening and elbow length sleeves, the front of the skirt with similar but narrower frill, with an inner wide frill padded with sheep's wool, the back bodice with pleating either side of the central boned back, the fabric falling into the skirt, flat pleating to the bodice, two side slits, the four inner linen tapes are there to loop the skirt into a polonaise.
Bust: 30 in; 75 cm.
From shoulder to back hem: 57 in; 145 m
The petticoat with a fine linen tape edging,the sides of the waistband with caught in loops (difficult to describe, see photo), full skirt, the front and back panels flat and with wide pleats at the sides and the same padded edging on the hem. Please see the photo for unusual style.
Waist to hem: 32 in; 80 cm
The front gown. The front opening very slightly grubby, presumably from opening and closing and pinning. A little splitting underarms but no staining. These areas just need a little support. A few very feint marks to the back of the right hand sleeve, hardly noticeable. The front skirt inner pleating 2 1/2 in 7 cm is missing. The back skirt has some small holes, where there the fabric has been pulled up to form the polonaise. the right hand side also has a few holes. These could be patched quite successfully.
The petticoat has two 1 in; 2.5 cm slits centre front, just under the waistband, There is a small patch to the left of the skirt, near the slit (to access the pocket). To the side of the skirt there is a large light brown water mark, approx 8 x 7 in; 20 x 18 cm. Not a solid mark. The back of the skirt (hidden by by gown) has some light blackish markings and a light water mark. There are a few other little areas of wear., after all it is 240 years old!
Do ask for more photos.
Costume in Detail. Nancy Bradford p 65
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