Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More textiles

This richly decorated and coloured material has an intriguing label (written in a beautiful script) pinned to it.  The label reads "Miss Vipan's wedding gown married to Mr Jennings of St Ives about 1750".  Although Mum has several family trees written down, we haven't yet identified the Miss Vipan married in 1750, so that is a mystery that remains to be solved.  We also don't know who wrote the label. (This photo reminds me of the 'Tailor of Gloucester' by Beatrix Potter, with her illustration of 'No more twist.'See below.)
(picture from

This is the longest length of the material and shows the pattern going down what we think is the skirt panel.  The style would have been similar to the dresses worn by Marie Antoinette with full, wide skirts that meant you had to go through the door sideways.  The dress must have looked spectacular as the pattern is certainly eye-catching.

One of the inside seams of the panel, showing the very neat hand stitching.

This is also on the inside of the panel and shows the strengthening material around the slit for a pocket.  This would probably have been one of a pair of detachable bags, attached by strings around the waist, used for keeping valuables or precious items.  It is these pockets that are mentioned in the nursery rhyme, "Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it.  There was not a penny in it, but a ribbon round it". 
More interesting discoveries to come.

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