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Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium

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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Date Made:1700-1725
Materials:textile: polychrome silk embroidery; bleached (white) plain weave linen
Place Made:United Kingdom; England
Measurements:overall: 33 1/4 x 82 in.; 84.455 x 208.28 cm
Accession Number:  HD F.597

Petticoat done with multi-colored silk embroidery on off-white linen, which is false-quilted or mock-quilted (no stuffing between the two layers) with a backstitch in a chevron pattern. From about 1710-1790, decorative petticoats were fashionable for wearing under an "open robe," a style of dress that is open across the center front of the skirt. The petticoat could be made to match the dress fabric, embroidered, or made of a contrasting solid color. Based on Indo-Portuguese prototypes, this silk embroidery ustilizes a wide variety of stitches associated with embroideries from the Iberian Penninsula. Exotic figures such as elephant complet with howdad and stylized water buffaloes were popular '"chinoiserie" images copied from books of engravings that proliferated in the late 17th century. This petticoat is embroidered overall with a variety of people, animals, plants, and buildings including: elephant with a crossed-leg man on his back under three parasols, dragon with a man holding a flag pole perched on his back, oxen with a dragon head being riden by a man with a parasol, Chinese phoenix, man playing a bagpipe, spotted deer, running men with flags, parrot, other birds, snail, pagoda, flowers, hollow rocks, pine trees, flowering branches, etc. The outside linen layer is of finer quality than the inside layer; the embroidery does not show on the inside. This garment would have been worn with a bodice with a short peplum so that the embroidery couel be seen. 82" hem circumference

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