Dress worn at the English court, ca. 1775

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Dress worn at the English court, ca. 1775

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Family lore stated Mary Hammond Murdock wore this dress at the English court of George II, who reigned from 1727 - 1760. Mary Murdock (or Murdoch) immigrated to Philadelphia with her husband William around 1735. Portland resident Julia St. Felix was Murdoch's 3x great grand-daughter. St. Felix donated the dress to Maine Historical Society.

While the silk brocade fabric dates to 1750 - 1765, the dress construction dates to around 1775, in the reign of George III (r.1760-1820). This dress is an example of English court fashion from the time of the American Revolution, however, Mary Hammond Murdock died in 1770, further complicating the story. Family lore also noted Murdoch's unnamed sister was bridesmaid at Queen Charlotte and George III's wedding. Perhaps the dress' connection to George III's court stems from that relationship.

The dress is a robe á la francaise: an open robe with an exposed matching underskirt. The fabric design features a self-colored ground, and floral sprays in pale blue, yellow, green and pink. The back of the robe includes falling pleats that start at the neckline and extend to the bottom hem.

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About This Item

  • Title: Dress worn at the English court, ca. 1775
  • Creation Date: circa 1775
  • Subject Date: circa 1775
  • Location: England
  • Media: silk brocade
  • Dimensions: 142.24 cm x 281.305 cm
  • Local Code: 1482*c
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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