The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This is a design for embroidery on muslin or gauze. It is probably for the border of a petticoat to a woman's open gown or for the border of the gown itself. Women wore gowns that were open in front to reveal the petticoat. This design is for the embroidery along the border above the bottom hem of a petticoat, and also for such a border on the gown itself. The design repeated so that this pattern continued around the border. The rose buds were likely to have been scattered over the rest of the petticoat or gown. The design comes from a group of designs that were part of a retailer's archive which employed professional embroiderers.

The names of the female clients inscribed on the designs were of the aristocracy. This design is inscribed 'Miss Pelham (Stanmer)' who was Miss Emily Pelham. She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester (Pelham of Stanmer). She gave her sister's (Lady Middleton's) pattern, another design of from this group, to a family friend, Miss Holroyd. Retailers who sold such designs were linen drapers and lacemakers, both of which categories existed in London and were available to the clients. Many pattern drawers worked in London where their trade proved a lucrative business during the season. The similarity of some of the designs from this group to those by Styart, whose designs were published in London, does support the argument that these designs came from a retailer's archive based in London.

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  • Title: Design
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1782
  • Location: London
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 17.3 cm, Width: 19.7 cm
  • Medium: Pen and ink on paper

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