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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: Chinese or English
Title:gown; robe a la francaise
Date Made:1730-1740, with later alterations
Type:Clothing
Materials:textile: pink plain weave silk ground with polychrome supplementary weft-patterned floating threads (brocade)
Place Made:textile: China or United Kingdom; Great Britain: England; Great Britain: Greater London, London; Spitalfields (possibly); garment: United Kingdom
Accession Number:  HD F.335
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Description:
Woman's robe made from patterned silk woven in a polychrome supplementary weft-patterned design (brocade) on a plain weave pink ground. The garment, part of a woman's gown that would have been worn with a petticoat (no longer extant) is an important example of women's early 18th-century clothing made from drawloom woven silks in the collection of Historic Deerfield. Although altered, much of the original construction remains intact. The fabric's design consists of one flower motif about 6" x 4" that is repeated in different colorways. The motif alternates between repeats three and two times across the selvage width of the fabric, which is 29", a fact which may suggest Chinese origins. Supplementary weft pattern floats create the design, which is woven in 7 different combinations of colors. The spot motifs of floral sprays suggest either a European interpretation of Persian or Indian motifs, or a Chinese interpretation of those motifs for the western market.The garment is constructed as a robe a la francaise, with a pair of double box pleats anchored 6" down from the center back piece at top, and then released for fullness down the back. Inside, the bodice is lined in a white plain weave linen. While the main body of the garment is largely unaltered from its original (or near original) construction, the pleating of the skirts at either side has come undone. Sometime in the mid-20th century, the excess material was gathered on ribbon rather than being repleated. There is a tag stitched inside, written in ink with "H. Hebert"; more research may suggest an explanation.

8 Related Media Items

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