Bodice of a woman's 2-piece day dress - ROM2018_16945_15


Bodice of a woman's 2-piece day dress

Maker: Soehnée l’aîné (later Hartmann & Fils) of Munster or Nicolas Koechlin & Frères of Mulhouse
Medium:Cotton tabby, block-printed forming 6 colours by the "lapis" technique, using mordants, resists, and dyes
Geography: Probably Alsace, France
Date: c. 1810
65.5 x 69 cm
Object number: 2013.29.3.1
Credit Line: Lillian Williams Collection; This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust Fund
Not on view

The day dress, made of block-printed fine cotton cambric, is an early example of lapis printing, probably around 1810. Given its French provenance, it is likely to have been printed by either Soehnée l’aîné or Koechlin & Frères. Here, the basic red on blue has been elaborated with resist white and overprinting in yellow and black. The design is a small, evenly distributed spot motif characteristic of the introductory period of the lapis style and loosely evoking the woven sprigs of Kashmir shawls, another great design source from the Indian subcontinent. To the European, the lapis style represented the latest advances in the application of chemical knowledge, and the wearer of this dress would likely have been proud to reflect both the beauties of Kashmir and the achievements of science.

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