I currently subscribe to a fascinating Yahoo list for the Revolutionary War. Many subscribers will share research they have found on this time period with us. Today I was reading through some older posts and happened upon this post:
Many of you probably know that most of the Victoria and Albert Museum's legendary collection of 18th century clothing has been OFF public display for many years, while they try to figure out how to stop the deterioration of fabrics and dyes.
Before WWI, Harrods, the chi-chi department store in London, acquired a huge collection of clothing, including 18th century clothing, that had been amassed by Mr. Talbot Hughes.
Harrod's donated the collection to the V&A.
I recently came upon a hard-cover catalog of the opening exhibit from the early 20th century (undated, but roughly 1911 to1913 or thereabouts.)
I put it up at:
If you are of an impatient disposition, and don't want to wade through the text, scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the illustrations.
I only put up illustrations of 18th century garments and a couple of early 19th century ones. If anyone wants the stuff up to the 1880's, let me know.
I wanted to share his pictures here, because I thought they were very interesting. It's hard to find good examples of clothing of the time. Most of the stuff here is for the upper class it seems, not of the common everyday folk, but it stills gives us a good look into this time period. The Victoria and Albert museum is in London, England, so even when they do find a way to put the clothing back on display, I doubt I will be able to visit it easily. So I am grateful that these pictures have been posted online.
This picture shows a quilted petticoat. It still amazes me that women had the time and patience to create something like this. I would love to say that someday I will create a petticoat like this for myself, but unfortunately I do not have the time or the patience to do it. If I were going to spend that much time quilting, I would make a quilt to go on my bed. But I think it is a beautiful statement of how busy our lives have become.
This dress struck me because it’s one of the more simple ones he put up. I also really like the striped fabric here. In my own clothing I have stuck to solid colors and checked fabric, perhaps I will start to venture out and try some stripes soon.
Here is another simpler example of a dress. What I really like in this picture is the little bag she is carrying. I love my pockets, but I think I really need something else to help me carry some stuff, namely my camera. It also is extremely intriguing to me because I really want to know what is in HER bag. Most likely sewing stuff, but who knows! Could be something much more interesting like letters from a secret lover.
This picture is dated from 1780 to 1795, but again I really like the stripes in this. I find is so interesting that they are horizontal stripes on the vest. This picture was titled “A Suit of Interesting Character...” and I have to agree!!
Here is another great picture of a man’s clothing. I love that he has a cane of some sort tucked under his arm. I wonder if it was commonplace to carry one whether you needed it or not. I imagine that even if it were, it wouldn’t have been for those that were not higher up on the social scale.
Here is the link again if you want to look at all the pictures:
There is also a really good write-up on more specific details of clothing of this time that can be found here:
Believe me yours faithfully,
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