Sack back (1)


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This elegant ensemble illustrates how valuable silk fabrics were reused in the 18th century. The densely patterned silk brocade dates from the late 1730s and characterises the naturalistic designs of subtly shaded fruits and flowers popular during that decade. It may have been a sack back in the early 1740s, then updated in style in the late 1760s The skirts would have been reconfigured for a narrower hoop and the ruchings and fringe added. Even though added some 30 years later, the new fringe of looped silk matches the colours of the brocade very closely. This suggests that it was specially ordered from the lace supplier (who also made braid trimming) to harmonise with and update the 1730s silk.

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  • Title: Sack back (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1747
  • Location: Spitalfields
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 51.0 cm silk, selvedge to selvedge
  • Provenance: Given by Mrs George Atkinson
  • Medium: Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, silk fringe; hand-woven brocade and fringe, hand-sewn

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