This is a classic example of a sack-back gown of the early 1770s. The back is loose with a slight train and the fabric pleated into the shoulders. Scalloped ruffles trim the elbow-length sleeves. Gathered flounces trimmed with fly fringe (a type of silk fringe) adorn the petticoat and open-fronted gown. An ensemble like this one would have been appropriate dress for the theatre or Assembly Rooms.


  • Title: Sack back
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1770/1775
  • Location: Spitalfields
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 50.4 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge
  • Provenance: Given by Miss Mary Hodgson
  • Medium: Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven gros de tours, hand-sewing

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