This is an exceptionally pretty muslin gown with original lilac ribbons threaded through on the bodice and sleeves, and with deep beautifully hand worked floral embroidery to the hem. It is English and dates to about 1815. The muslin has a dotted hole design all over and the front is slightly shorter than the back, forming a slight train. We have never seen a muslin gown before with coloured embellishment, and this gives great charm to this pretty item.
The condition is very good, and the measurements are: 52" shoulder to front hem, high waist 26", bust 34", skirt circumference 8 ft 4". The embroidery is intact and all the ribbons are present, as are back ties.
Of particular interest:
This gown was purchased from the former home of John Charles Herries (1778 - 1855).
Jane Austen visited this family several times with her brother, and it is quite probable that this dress was owned by one of the daughters of the family, and that the famous writer may well have seen it on one of her visits. Jane Austen mentions the Herries family in her letters to her sister Cassandra. The house is located near Sevenoaks Kent, UK. The Herries family continued to live there until the middle of the 20th century.
Jame Austen remarks in a letter to Cassandra dated Tuesday/Wednesday 17/18 October 1815 "Henry came home on Sunday and we dined with the Herrieses - a large family party - clever and acomplished" (Jane Austen's letters, page 296)
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