This two-piece ball gown embodies the luxury of the Fin de Siècle. It combines a short richly embroidered bodice with an overwide bell jar skirt that merges into a train. The top has a shoulder-wide angular neckline framed by lace trim over silk voile. The short sleeves are of multi-layer silk voile topped in a lace border. Below the trim, a V-shaped lace insert over pink voile emphasizes the fitted bodice. This is richly embroidered with garlands made of large grey artificial pearl that end in a tear-shaped trim of grey and white pearls. The multi-panel skirt falls smoothly over the hip. It is embroidered with large double and triple rows of pearl held by curved leaf twigs of feathered and lanceolate leaves. The elegant lines and the slightly S-shaped silhouette of the gown take up the curved forms popularized by Art Nouveau. This gown is an early model by Jeanne Paquin (1869-1936), who often combined pastel tones with contrasting lace.


  • Title: Ball Gown with Silver-Grey Embroidery
  • Creator: Madame Paquin
  • Date: ca. 1897–1898
  • 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; 1994 Robert Millon Paris, estate of Duchess of Roxburghe, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Proof of manufacture: Woven label, cream coloured tone on tone: PAQUIN, 3, rue de la Paix 3. Paris
  • Place of origin: Paris, France
  • Length: Bodice: fl./bl. 43 cm, skirt: fl. 99 cm, bl. 128 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Dress
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Cream coloured silk satin, cream coloured silk taffeta, pink silk voile; trim: point lace, faux pearls, silver sequins, polished silver coloured metal stones, chenille thread, silver coloured metal thread wrapped around core

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