Interactive: Silk 'Mantua' Gown, by Unknown Maker, 1760-70
This mantua, made of patterned Spitalfields silk, is typical in style and construction of the 1760s. By this time, it was worn only by aristocratic ladies for ceremonies at court. The petticoat is still very wide, but now with sloping sides and worn over a hoop known as ‘fan-shaped’. The gown, and in particular the stomacher, are elaborately decorated with a braid of various silks, called ‘fly fringe’, which was very popular from the 1750s to the 1770s. The bright colours and curvilinear arrangement of the trimmings indicate the Rococo style in dress.
Museum no. T.120 to B-1961