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Object Name

Belvedere Dress

Date Made



design :sack backed open robe and petticoat of ivory raised and figured silk brocaded with purple carnations and jonquils with blue centres and with ribbons and leaves of gold thread. The cuffs are trimmed with gold lace and bows, and the petticoat with waving pinked ruched bands of self fabric. That part of the petticoat covered by the rose ie top centre back is of ivory satin. There are two buttons of gold lace and sequins one at each pocket slit of robe. These are attached to long silk loops which make robe into a polonaise. Label text: This dress is made from richly brocaded ivory silk, decorated with flowers and gold thread. Gold lace and ribbons also embellish the sleeves. The top part of the robe conceals the back of the petticoat which is made from plain satin in order to save on the considerable cost of this extravagant fabric. It was probably worn by Jane, Countess of Lanesborough, the only daughter of the 1st Earl of Belvedere. From exhibition text, early 2000s: The Belvedere Dress, c.1775 of Spitalifields silk of 1755-58 This belonged to the daughter of the notorious first Earl of Lansborough of Belvedere, near Mullingar. The beautiful and valuable mid-century silk has been refashioned into the 'polonaise' style, popular in the mid 1770s, in which the skirts of the open robe are caught up in bunches by tapes and buttons. A further, invisible indication of the need to use expensive fabric economically, even at the top level of society, is the fact that the back of the petticoat or underskirt, hidden by the coat-like open robe, is of cheaper, plain satin.

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National Museums NI