Robe, 1740s. Museum no. T.260 & A-1969

Robe, 1740s. Museum no. T.260 & A-1969

Robe
1740s
Museum no. T.260 & A-1969

'Court dress' was an exclusive and very ornate style of clothing worn by the aristocracy, the only people usually invited to attend at Court. The style of the robe is quite old-fashioned, and based on the 17th-century mantua.

The shell, the quintessential Rococo motif, constitutes the basis of the embroidery pattern. Leafy scrolls, latticed arcades and tassels are also featured, as well a profusion of realistically rendered flowers, including jasmine, morning glory and honeysuckle, peonies, roses, poppies, anemones, auriculas, hyacinths, carnations, cornflowers, tulips and daffodils. The pattern of the silver shells and scrolls has been arranged symmetrically at the hem, but the layout of the flowers, while balanced, does not match exactly on either side. This ensemble recalls a garment worn by the Duchess of Queensbury in 1740: 'her cloathes were embroidered upon white satin; Vine leaves, Convulvus and Rosebuds shaded after Nature ...'.