Among womens fashions of the eighteenth century, two styles of robes, or dresses, were highly popular. The robe à la Française, or sacque gown, combined a taut bodice with folds of fabric that extended from the back neckline down to the hem of the gown. A robe à la Anglaise displays a fitted bodice, with a décolleté neckline, and an attached overskirt. The skirt, then called a petticoat, may or may not match the fabric of the dress.
These popular styles paired a narrow waistline with wide, full skirts which extended out from each side. This volume was supported by panniers (hoops) made of heavy cotton or linen and metal rods or reed strips. The narrow torso was created (constricted) by a ladys stays, or corset, that was made of heavy linen or stout cotton with shoulder straps, stiffened with inserted whalebones, and laced up the back.
After 1770, it was the vogue to tie the overskirt at the sides using interior cords and/or ribbons or buttons to form three large poufs. This style was reportedly in response to the 1772 division of Poland into three kingdoms and is called robe à la Polonaise.
Place object was created: Europe
lacquer, wood, paper (fiber product), gold leaf, watercolor
Measurements: height: 10.875 inchesGift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary, donated by Mrs. Ann Over 1986.81.2
Currently on view at Mint Museum RANDOLPH