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Design

Unknown

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This is a design for embroidery on muslin or gauze. It is for an apron which women wore over a gown as fashionable informal dress. 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, gentry or from wealthy families that moved in the upper reaches of society. They had homes in the country and came to London for the season. 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.

This design is inscribed 'Apron Lady Webster'. This is Lady Godfrey Webster. She was Elizabeth Vassall, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who married Sir Godfrey Webster in 1786. Lady Webster knew Lord and Lady Sheffield and other clients of the retailer of embroidery designs who were Lord Sheffield's daughter Maria Josepha Holroyd and the Pelhams but not intimately. Lady Webster corresponded with Maria Josepha Holroyd and the latter mentions her in letters to other people. See Holroyd, Maria Josepha. Adeane, J., ed.<u> The Girlhood of Maria Josepha Holroyd</u>. London: Longmans, 1896. 23-24 pp. 213 & 238 pp.

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Details

  • Title: Design
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1782/1794
  • Location: London
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 19.7 cm, Width: 21 cm
  • Medium: Pen and ink on laid paper

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