Gown and petticoat made from a beige silk with a figured and brocaded pattern of flowers and a very strong subsidiary pattern formed by a warp flush on a ribbed ground. The gown has an English back and and elbow-length sleeves with narrow pleated cuffs. The bodice and sleeves are lined with unbleached linen, and the bodice lining has seven worked eyelets on each side for fastening. Residual folds at the back of the gown suggest that is may have been enlarged and relined in the 1750s.

The gown has been altered for fancy dress. The robings probably extended down the front of the skirts. The front panel of silk on either side of the skirts has been removed, leaving 5 widths at the side and back and truncating the robings; what remains of them has been unpicked. All that remains of the original petticoat are three panels of silk - centre front and one on each side. The original pleating has been retained and bound with blue silk ribbon and linen ties, for wearing apron-style under the front of the gown.


  • Title: Gown and petticoat
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1744/1753
  • Location: Spitalfields
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 55.4 cm repeat
  • Provenance: Given by Gerald Berkeley Wills, in memory of his late wife, Kathleen Margaret Wills
  • Medium: Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand woven, figured and brocaded, hand-sewn

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