Spitalfields Silk Dress

Unidentified maker; fabric designed by Anna Maria Garthwaite and woven by Mr. Pulley, Spitalfields, England Maker
1742-1743; altered c. 1840 Date:
Brocaded silk taffeta Materials
54 L Dimensions
Probably made for Christina Ten Broeck Livingston (1718-1801) of Albany and New York City; descended in the family to her great-great-grandson, John Woodworth Gould, whose wife, Harriet Van Rensselaer Elmendorf Gould (1844-1920), arranged for its donation to the Albany Institute through Mrs. Edward W. Rankin of Cherry Hill. Provenance
Gift of Harriet Van Rensselaer Elmendorf (Mrs. John Woodworth) Gould through Catherine Bogart Putman (Mrs. Edward W.) Rankin Credit
1944.60.1 Accession number

Only four pieces of fabric were usually woven of any one pattern, so that the fashion-conscious gentry who wore these elaborate dresses would never see anyone else wearing something similar. This dress was made of English fabric, probably for Christina Ten Broeck Livingston, wife of Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It may have been worn at the christening of Christina's son Dirck in 1743. The fabric in this dress shows the beginnings of the naturalistic Rococo style in English silks.

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