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Rare Short Gown
c 1810

As you will see from the mannequin this is a really small size, so for a young adolescent. See: Baumgarten, Linda What Clothes Reveal p 118/9 In the book Baumgarten states that short gowns were worn for everyday clothing and kept pace with fashion changes. The gown has the high waist of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century styles. Sally Hemmings, the slave maid who accompanied Thomas Jefferson's daughter to France in 1787, wore calico short gowns with matching petticoats. She received 12 yards calico for 2 short gowns and coats...... Because these were working wear, few exist. The yellow has been pencilled (painted) on after the printing. See: Kidwell, Claudia Suiting Everyone:The Democratization of Clothing in America. p 33 illustrates a cotton short gown , late 18th c from Germantown Historical Society.

Description

of roller printed cotton with a small rose surrounded by half stars in crimson, pink, yellow and green, the front with under bust horizontal seam is tightly pleated and gathered at neck with original natural linen tape, left hand side opening with three hooks and embroidered loop, the under bust front slightly flaring out, the narrow diamond shaped central back with seams and with three pale blue floss silk buttons at the waist, the lower section with centre and side pleating, the inside lined in coarsely woven cotton with a bust protector, two original tapes to secure the skirt, long plain sleeves, underarm 33 in or 83 cm; shoulder to hem 17 in or 43 cm;

Condition

Very good. There is one small stain where the ties pull centre front but which cannot be seen because of the gathering. The right hand side almost underarm has a darn. I think this has been taken up slightly, for a smaller girl. Ask for photos of inside.

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