Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Video: Up-close with a Beautiful Georgian Dress, c.1760

Friday, June 19, 2015

Isabella reporting,

It's not often we have a video devoted to a single dress – but then this is no ordinary dress. Its white silk woven with multi-colored sprigs of flowers and embellished with bright coordinated trimming, this is a spectacular example of a 1760s sack-back dress with matching petticoat, and clearly the work of a talented mantua-maker. This is Georgian high-fashion at its most stylish.

The silk shows enough wear to prove the dress was worn more than once, but it still must have been a family treasure, carefully packed away by members of the Dalrymple family, where it has remained ever since. It's possible that it was worn by Anne Broun, right, as her wedding dress when she married Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes, in 1763. She died only five years later in 1768, and the dress might have been set aside in her memory. Miraculously it escaped the fate of so many 18th c. dresses, and was never cut apart and remodeled for later wear, or modified into a fancy dress costume.

The multi-colored floss fringe trim (and plenty of it!) is particularly noteworthy. See this blog post  for more about such trime, and how it was made.

Recently restored and conserved, the dress is currently on display for the first time at Newhailes, a National Trust of Scotland property near Edinburgh, until June 29, 2015. Alas, a trip to Scotland this month isn't on our schedule, but Emma Inglis of the National Trust of Scotland was kind enough to share this short video with us - and now with you.

Right: Anne Brown (of Coalstoun), by Allan Ramsay, c.1761, private collection.

If you received this post via email, you may be seeing only an empty space or black box where the video should be. To view, click here.


Anna-Carin said...

A very beautiful dress, and the trim is especially interesting. It's made of fly-fringe tufts (bits of floss, each with two closely spaced knots), that are joined with a chain of crochet. If you look closely, sometimes you see the front of the chain stitches, and sometimes the back, so there's no doubt about it.

This trim would be fairly easy to reproduce today (provided you find a good floss to use) - though very time consuming!

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Your comment reminded me to add a link to an earlier post about 18th c. floss trim. Although it looks like a chain of single crochet, I believe the tufts were knotted into the chain.

See here:

GSGreatEscaper said...

Does Anne Broun remind you of Princess Anne? She also has a look of my old Great-Aunt Mary. Scots blood in all three ....

Elizabeth said...

That was a beautiful video. I'm so glad they and you shared it with us!

Elizabeth said...

That was a beautiful video. I'm so glad they and you shared it with us!

Elizabeth said...
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