The fabric of this ball gown, velvet with luxurious decorative stripes, testifies to the highest technical skill. The cream-coloured areas are printed with naturalistic rose bouquets and their edges dissolve into lace. These alternate with dusky pink stripes, designed in gradated velvet, and depict tender leaves and blossoms in cut velvet. The skirt of the dress is pleated toward the front, each printed velvet stripe appears on the top and the dusky pink recedes, creating an ingenious interplay of light and shadow. The short bodice front ends in a long pointed waist, and a short pointed waist at the rear. The extra-wide neckline leaves the shoulders free, an indication that this dress was meant for formal occasions. It has short sleeves laid in folds over inner sleeves made of tulle with broad lace trim. This trim also frames the low neckline and the centre of the bodice front. The low neckline holds an ornamental bouquet of three silk blossoms in the same colour as the gown. The bodice is fully lined in silk, has three incorporated stays at the front and ties in the back.


  • Title: Ball Gown with Decorative Panels
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 1865
  • Stylistic point of origin: England/France
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1989 London, private collection, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Length: Bodice: fl. 38 cm, bl. 27 cm, skirt: fl. 108 cm, bl. 150 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Dress
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Dusky pink silk taffeta with dusky pink and cream coloured silk velvet stripes,trim: tulle lace, cream coloured, flowers: glazed cotton, lining: white silk taffeta, whalebone stays

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