#2768 $3,975 SoldWorth silk brocaded gown, 1890s
This magnificent gown was fashioned from sublime brocaded silk satin patterned with turquoise and silver peacock feathers on a lilac ground. Jean-Philippe Worth designed a different tea gown in 1894 for a Miss Hewitt, using the same fabric pattern as in our gown. That tea gown was donated to the Brooklyn Museum in 1931 by Princess Viggo, an American niece of Miss Hewitt.
In the Metropolitan Museum Costume Collection, you can view the tea gown. Its fabric is colored in shades of gray and ivory. It is unusual to find a Worth gown with important documented fabric, as in our grand gown. It could be the focal point of a collection—in or out of a museum.
Our two-piece gown is reminiscent of 18th century open robes. It has an open-front skirt as well as three-quarter-length sleeves trimmed with lace engageantes. Lined with aqua silk taffeta, the bodice has boned seams and cotton tape lace trim. The lapels, which barely show under the lace, are of ivory satin. The skirt is longer and fuller in back.
Although the gown was designed by Jean-Philippe Worth, his father Charles Worth, the founder of modern couture, remained the guiding hand at the House of Worth until his death in 1895.
We can only speculate on Charles' contribution to the design of our gown. Yet his commitment to obtaining the most exceptional fabrics exclusively for his House continued to influence his son Jean-Philippe's design philosophy well into the 20th century.
There has never been a couturier whose knowledge and creative use of fabrics rivaled that of the Founder, Charles Frederick Worth. As a young man, he had learned the textile trade in London. In 1845, he found work in Paris at Gagelin's, becoming their leading fabric salesman before starting his own firm.
Many of the specialty fabrics in Worth designs were produced in small runs by Lyons silk manufacturers solely for the House of Worth. Customers were secure in the knowledge that they had a one-of-a-kind gown made from an exclusive luxe silk fabric.
The condition is Very Good. The exterior is Excellent with no underarm damage. The lace has darkened with age; the ivory satin on the lapels has a few splits; the bodice lining has splits. The skirt lining has some splits and is shattered near the waist. The ends of the petersham have been cut off; luckily the part with the label remains. If the condition were Excellent, the price range would be $6,600-$7,400.
The bodice measures: 38" bust, 28" waist, and 14 3/4" center-back length.
The skirt measures: 28" waist and 41" center-front length.