Fawn-grey alpaca mixed with silk, chequered in purple and grey and trimmed with purple silk ribbon and covered buttons. Boned bodice with high, round neck, trimmed centre front with six large, purple silk-covered buttons with hook fastening at waist; long "pagoda" sleeves widening from shoulder to cuff, outer edge bound with purple silk ribbon and decroative purple silk-covered buttons; bodice lining of white linen, fastening with hooks and eyes; Full skirt cut in seven widths, joined to bodice in deep box pleats all the way around and with pocket in seam on right and hem decorated with two bands purple ribbon, six purple silk-covered buttons between. Hand-sewn.

Display Label

Female fashion during the nineteenth century progressed through a startling array of different styles, fabrics and silhouettes. Starting with the classical-style, high-waisted, trained dresses of the 1800s and 10s, fashion gradually moved to fuller skirts and hour-glass figures by the 1830s and 40s, with very large crinoline skirts by 1860. Dresses of the 1870s and 80s had periods of "back interest" created by bustles and pads with short trains, contrasting with styles for fitted princess-line shealth outfits. The 1890s returned to the hour-glass shape of the 1830s with similar very full "leg of mutton" sleeves. Fabric ranged from finely embroidered or boldly printed cotton muslin or calico, to neatly patterned or complex jacquard-woven silk or challis (silk and wool mix); whilst colours varied from the exceptionally bright and brash (using the new analine chemical dyes from the 1860s), to the muted, subtle and "neo-classical".

Object Name


Date Created



Length CF: 144.8cm
Length CB: 150cm
Shoulder to waist: 41.9cm
Waist: 67cm

accession number


Place of creation

United Kingdom



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