A woman's gown of white linen, block-printed with floral sprigs in pink, purple, with painted blue. The gown is open to the waist at the front with a closed skirt, and long, shaped sleeves, cut in 2 pieces. The back is cut in two shaped pieces. The bodice and sleeves are lined with bleached linen. Each bodice front has a linen lacing panel and there is a fine casing at the front and sides of the neck with a drawstring. The skirt is made of 3 widths of linen, with a partial panel at the right front. There are pocket openings on either side, bound with wide linen tape. The back of the skirt is flinely flat-pleated and stitched to the bodice back. The skirt is faced with a band of bleached linen.

The gown may have originally been made as an open-fronted gown in the early 1780s. Later in the decade, the waistseam was unpicked and sewn straight across the back at the natural waist (the original point at the centre back of the bodice remains in the seam allowance). Part of the gown skirt at the front may have been removed, and the skirt stitched closed. The skirt front was box pleated at the centre, finely flat pleated on either side and bound with a pieced waistband. A linen tape was stitched to either end of the waistband for fastening. The removed panel may have made the ruflle of gathered linen at the hem of the skirt.


  • Title: Gown
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1780/1789
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 155.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Circumference: 85.0 cm bust under armholes approx, Width: 86.0 cm linen, selvedge to selvedge
  • Provenance: Gift of the family of the late Sir Luke Fildes
  • Medium: Linen, linen thread; hand-woven, block-printed, hand-painted, hand-sewn.

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps