The dress was made and worn by the wife of Sir Hamo Thornycroft (1850-1926). He was a sculptor and designed it for her. They were both interested in the dress reform movement and conceived the dress in accordance with the movement's principles so it did not restrict the waist and arms.

It fits a natural, uncorsetted figure and is cut fairly full, with smocking at the back and front. The sleeves are elbow-length puffs, smocked and gathered, to reflect historical styles. The skirts consist of an overskirt, draped with tapes and gathered up, and an underskirt, mounted on a white cotton lining and tied back.

The sewing is not professional and the dress has been altered. The Liberty's material is a thin, probably Indian, washing silk of a type that seldom survives.


  • Title: Dress
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1880/1889
  • Location: England
  • Provenance: Given by Mrs W. O. Manning
  • Medium: Silk lined with cotton

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