This large hoop petticoat is made of natural coloured, chintz finished linen. It is equipped with four drawstrings into which rings of whalebone have been inserted. The open-back skirt is drawn closed with three ribbons. The waist level hip pads, they have an opening in the center through which the wearer can reach the pockets tied around beneath. These moreover provide support for the masses of material that would lie upon the skirt and perhaps even the forearms of the wearer. The farthingales, initially designed conically and then increasingly more dome-shaped from 1740 onwards, achieved their flattened oval form, which gave the robe à la française its typical, laterally projecting silhouette, through means of internally attached ties. After 1750 there were shorter farthingales as well as bipartites, so-called “little poses”, which granted greater freedom of movement. From then on, the large farthingales were reserved for festive gala clothing. Whalebone was the preferred material for stays and farthingales. It was procured from the baleen plates of whales and divided into strips of the required width. Whale hunting was so extensive that by the 18th century some species were threatened with extinction.


  • Title: Hoop Petticoat - Panier à coude
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 1750
  • Stylistic point of origin: England
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1991 Antique market, London, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Length: Fl./bl. 74 cm, hw. 279 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Underskirt
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Natural coloured plain weave linen, chintz finish, whalebone; filling: wool or cotton

Get the app

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


Google apps