wedding dress & stomacher & petticoat & necklet

wedding dress & stomacher & petticoat & necklet


Open robe in pink silk damask (probably Spitalfields) in large-scale floral pattern with revers, wide paniers and elbow-length sleeves. Bodice of robe, with holes for lacing across front, is lined with white linen. Bodice back features two sewn-down pleats, tapering to a blunt point at the waist. Skirt is in 7 widths, pleated onto bodice at back, cut for paniers. Stomacher : Cream satin, sewn with silk and silver thread lace and pink corded silk ribbon. Blunt point at base. On each side short bands slightly concave with lower edging of lace. Lace across top. Petticoat : White satin, lined with glazed woollen (callamanca). Quilted in pattern of formal, floral spray each slightly different, in deep border with waved stems, alternately with and without leaves, rising towards waist. Short opening at one side. Necklet : Neckband of cream silk ribbon with two rows of lace. Three falling bands of shirred pink ribbon outlined with lace, centre one slightly shorter, lower section of ribbon missing from right outer one. Brooch and pendant earrings; silver and paste.

Display Label

There seems to be less dramatic change in the style of the wardrobe of the fashionable woman in the eighteenth century, than in the nineteenth, certainly in the essential types of dress. All dresses fitted a pattern, being ankle or floor length, with elbow length sleeves and a squared neckline, sometime with a short train, and with the skirt worn either closed, or open to show a decorative skirt or "petticoat". Around 1700, a gown known as a mantua was popular for most social occasions, comprising a long straight silhouette incorporating a short train, orginally worn down, and later looped up. By the middle of the century, two newer styles had taken over, the informal English robe or "nightgown" with the back tightly gathered into the waist, and the more formal French or "sack back" gown with flowing pleats from the shoulders. Other variations included the polonaise (with the skirt looped up over the petticoat as in an image below), and more simple "round gowns", which were increasingly popular as neoclassical influences developed after the 1780s (see Heideloff fashion prints below). Fabrics chosen were usually woven silk brocades or damasks, often in a stylised floral design until the 1770s, with simpler printed cotton callico and linen, or embroidered cotton muslin, increasingly fashionable thereafter.

Object Name

wedding dress & stomacher & petticoat & necklet

Date Created



Length: 139.7cm
Necklet: 33cm x 33cm
Stomacher: 33cm x 27.9cm
Shoulder to waist: 44.5cm
Petticoat: 96.5cm
Hem: 203.2cm
Hem: 355.6cm
Waist: 55.9cm

accession number


Place of creation

United Kingdom



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