L: 54-3/4 in.
Mr. and Mrs. William R. Spurlock Fund
(Cora Ginsberg, Inc.) Tarrytown, New York; purchased by Indianapolis Museum of Art (Mr and Mrs. R. Spurlock Fund), June 23, 1988.
The brocaded fabric of this gown, manufactured in the Spitalfields area near London, dates between 1743–1753. In this period naturalistic depiction of flowers scattered all over the ground pattern were popular. The realistic renderings of single roses, tiger lilies and tulips were most likely inspired by flowers in the nursery gardens of experimental horticulturists near Spitalfields.
The style of this dress follows the English fashion of the time where the back pleats are sewn in place on the bodice and then the pleats are released into the skirt. The skirt opens at the front and reveals a matching petticoat. The wide skirts of these fashionable dresses were held out by hoops on either side of the hips, known as panniers, a French term that translates to basket.
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