This robe à l’anglaise expresses the late 18th century preference for light fabrics in pastel tones. Its manteau, made of finely striped cotton muslin, is imprinted with ascending, intersecting vines. These are coral-like branches from which leaves and flowers grow on delicate branches that spread throughout the fabric. The blue and yellow leave tones were applied subsequently by hand. The top portion ends in a deeply drawn pointed waist, the back is reinforced with two whalebone stays and the skirt is fully attached. An under layer of rose coloured silk taffeta, of which the jupe is also made, gleams through the delicate white overskirt. It is adorned with a serrated edge. A fichu was draped high in the wide heart-shaped neckline, which could be adjusted with a ribbon tie in the front centre. Printed cotton fabrics from India have been popular in Europe since the 17th century, which endangered the silk weaving mills in both France and England. In January 1786, the Journal des Luxus und der Moden reported from London that “in England the finest floral printed and painted muslins and East Indian chintz was en vogue and about four times more expensive than ladies silk fabrics. Nevertheless, they sold like hot cakes and up to 6000 London silk weavers became unemployed”.


  • Title: Robe à L'anglaise with Printed Manteau
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 1780
  • 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; 1985 Portobello Road, London, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Length: Manteau: fl. 130 cm, bl. 167 cm, robe: fl./bl. 89 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Dress
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: White cotton muslin, interwoven warp stripes, multi-coloured printed pale pink silk taffeta, cream coloured silk pongé; lining: linen, white, whalebone

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