A woman's gown, petticoat and stomacher of cream-coloured silk embroidered in a design of flowing stems and leaves with flowers. The gown is in the English (tight-back) style, open at the front, with elbow-length sleeves and ruched cuffs. The bodice and sleeves are lined with bleached linen. The pleats at the back are stitched down; the skirt is pleated into the waistseam. The gown is made of 2 widths of silk and 3 partial widths, one on the right front and another 2 seamed together on the left front. The robings and fronts of the skirts are decorated with a ruching gathered around a central cord, and edged with a white silk gimp and coloured floss fringe. The fringe also edges the sleeve cuffs.

The petticoat is made of 3 and a half widths of silk, pleated at the waist and bound with narrow silk ribbon, forming the waist ties. The hem of the petticoat is edged with the same ruching and fringe as the gown.

The stomacher is a triangle of silk, lined with linen, and decorated with the gathered ruching and fringe, and a bow of silk edged with fringe.

The ensemble was probably made between 1765 and 1770, then updated in style about 1775 - 1780. Stitch marks on the gown fronts and petticoat show that these were once decorated with ruching and a flounce arranged in a serpentine line. These were removed at re-sewn in a straight line. The sleeves probably had double sleeve ruffles, which were converted to gathered cuffs. A new stomacher was sewn to the front; a triangle on each side meeting at the centre front, decorated with a simple line of fringe. Two silk-covered buttons were sewn either side of the back waist with corresponding silk cord loops on the inside in order to loop up the gown skirts.

Hooks and eyes, and whalebone strips on the stomacher fronts were probably added for fancy dress in the late 19th century.


  • Title: Gown, petticoat and stomacher
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1760/1770
  • Location: Guangdong
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 81.4 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge
  • Medium: Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn.

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