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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


Culture:textile: English, French, or Swiss; garment: American
Date Made:1780-1790
Materials:textile: block printed and hand painted plain weave glazed cotton (chintz); blue and white checked plain weave linen lining; white plain weave linen lining
Place Made:textile: England, France, or Swizterland; garment: United States
Accession Number:  HD 2002.11
Credit Line:John W. and Christiana G.P. Batdorf Fund

Cotton day dress or round gown made of a glazed cotton, which has been block-printed with a dark brown ground and ribbon and floral sprays in red and dull yellow. The blue accents have been hand painted (pencilled or brushed) on. The dark brown ground of this fabric was fashionable in the late 18th and early 19th century, and and glazed cottons were made in imitation of shiny and luxurious silk, and reflected light in the dim interiors of 18th century rooms. The order of printing would have likely been lighter colors first, then darker. This is suggested by the dark brown ground obscuring some of the lighter (red and yellow) colors. Madder produced most, if not all, of the colors, with the exception of the blue. The madder dye uses a resist paste. The fabric may have bene printed in England, France (Alsace), or Switzerland (Basil), according to Philip Sykas noting a similar example in a private collection. The gown is made in a style known as a robe a l'anglaise, characterized by back pleats of the fabric stitched down and released at the small of the back. The skirt is closed in a style known as an apron front; two plackets on either side would faciliate the skirt front fastening around the waist with either ties or perhaps pins. Much of the bodice is lined in a blue and white checked linen except the upper sleeves and shoulder straps, which are lined in a white plain weave linen. Skirt is unlined and there is no facing at the hem. This dress has never been altered, however coaser threads anchoring the robe a l'anglaise construction at the bodice back suggest some repair.

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