1730s Silver embroidered silk damask court mantua (Tredegar House and Park - Newport‎, ‎Monmouthshire, UK)

The Tredegear House’s notes for this:  "For glitz and glamour, look no further than the Tredegar Collection. This impressive collection of 18th century costume was presented to the Museum in 1923 by Courtenay Morgan, also known as Lord Tredegar. The items belonged to his rich ancestors who wanted to flaunt their wealth and power. Each garment was designed to dazzle.

Although the Morgans owned Tredegar House near Newport, they spent most of their time in London. For the gentry, the capital was the place to be. Pleasure gardens, operas and assemblies - their lives revolved around socializing.

A royal debut

The Tredegar costumes were probably made in London, using the finest woven damasks and brocaded silks you could buy. The most elegant dress in the collection dates from around mid-1720s. The grandness of this open fronted blue gown - often called a mantua - suggests that it was made for a young lady's royal debut. The detailing is elaborate and elegant, both on the front and the back. The gown was much longer originally, but a large section was cut off during the 1800s, supposedly for a fancy dress party.

Whalebone corsets

Gowns like this one were very awkward to wear. To achieve the exaggerated look, women wore wide hoop petticoats to increase the width of their skirts. They also wore tight corsets stiffened with whalebone under their dresses. Corsets encouraged good posture by squeezing the upper body into shape. Style was more important than comfort."

From Ephemeral Elegance posting of 15 September 2015; go here and enter “silver embroidered silk damask court mantua” into the search box in the upper left.

1730s Silver embroidered silk damask court mantua From Ephemeral Elegance 15 Sep 15

The material in back is pressed, eliminating the bustle of late 1600s mantuas. The full skirt was probably expanded by panniers.

Keywords:  Morgan family, British, jacket over-bodice, robings, elbow length close sleeves, train, full skirt, mantua, court dress

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