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85/2801 Court dress, comprising open robe, petticoat, length of fabric and galloon (2), silk brocade, maker unknown, England, c. 1760. Click to enlarge.

Court dress of silk brocade

The robe à la française or sack-back open robe was the most popular and lasting dress style for the fashionable women in the 18th century. So named for its association with the French court at Versailles and for the loose double box pleat of drapery that falls down the back from the shoulders. The gown is slipped on like a coat and is open at the front to reveal a matching petticoat and a triangular shaped bodice piece (which covers the corset) called the stomacher. Stomachers were usually …


Object No.


Object Statement

Court dress, comprising open robe, petticoat, length of fabric and galloon (2), silk brocade, maker unknown, England, c. 1760

Physical Description

Sack-back open robe of white silk brocade with a silver thread pattern of bows, ribbons and flowers. It has a square neck at front with a box pleat at each side extending to a waistline that curves down slightly at centre front. A matching stomacher fills in the front panel. The back has two double box pleats at centre. The elbow length sleeves have a frill with pinked upper edge and two layers of curved, scalloped frills falling from the elbow towards the back. The skirt is open at the front, the edges falling away from the waist towards the sides of the skirt. A cream silk underskirt, ungathered, fastens with front ties and has ties spaced around the waist to secure it. The visible front panels are of silk brocade. A spare length of silk brocade accompanies the robes and two lengths of metallic lace.


No marks



1650 mm


1470 mm


1220 mm



The maker of this open robe is unknown and was made in England, c, 1760



This open robe is believed to have been worn by Lady Collingwood in the latter part of the Eighteenth Century.


Credit Line

Gift of Nadine Turner through the Australian Costume and Textile Society, 1985

Acquisition Date

30 September 1985

Cite this Object


Court dress of silk brocade 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 June 2023, <>


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