Vintage Tartan - Antique Dress Museum

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Clan Chattan Day Dress 91 kb

c. 1745

c. 1745

Sir John Hynde Cotton's tartan suit - trews, jacket, plaid, c. 1745. Sir John Hynde Cotton was a Member of Parliament (Tory), was described as ‘one of the most zealous Jacobites in England’ and one of the tallest men of his day - if you're 6' 4" you could wear this! This is one of the few existing tartan garments that predates the proscription of tartan wearing in 1747. It is suggested that he may have worn this at the celebration at Holyrood House after the Battle of Prestonpans (1745). Fashion as political statement!

c. 1745

c. 1745

Sir John Hynde Cotton's tartan suit - trews, jacket, plaid, c. 1745. Sir John Hynde Cotton was a Member of Parliament (Tory), was described as ‘one of the most zealous Jacobites in England’ and one of the tallest men of his day - if you're 6' 4" you could wear this! This is one of the few existing tartan garments that predates the proscription of tartan wearing in 1747. It is suggested that he may have worn this at the celebration at Holyrood House after the Battle of Prestonpans (1745). Fashion as political statement!

c. 1750

c. 1750

This tartan uniform, c. 1750, of a hard twill weave wool with wooden covered buttons, silk fringing and linen lining is believed to have been owned by Stuart Threipland of Fingask,and worn by members of the Royal Company of Archers. The Company was originally established in 1676 to promote the sport of archery in Edinburgh. It was revitalised in 1713 and a new, all-tartan uniform created. Tartan was fashionable throughout this period as an expression of anti-Union and pro-Jacobite sentiment, and many of the company were known Jacobites, including the Threipland family. From the National Museum of Scotland

1821-1835

1821-1835

A tartan turban, from 1821-1835 The tied turban was most popular in European women's fashions in the 1790s and very early 1800s. However, tied turbans existed throughout the period and into the 1820s. The larger turbans of the 1820s and 30s, as well as the elaborate hairstyles necessitated a formed headdress.

1822

1822

This dress, displayed by National Museums of Scotland for their Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland exhibition in 2019, The ladies' dress code at the time suggested that tartan be confined to embellishments!was worn by Mary Jane MacDougall when she was presented to George IV at Holyrood Palace in 1822.

1830

1830

A British 1830 belted plaid dress of reds, golds, and blues, from a collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

1832

1832

Described as a "Silk Day Dress of the Clan Chattan Sett" belonging to Sara Justina Davidson of Tulloch, 1832, National Museums of Scotland

1835-1827

1835-1827

Dated 1835-1837 from the Royal Collection Trust , this velvet plaid dress was worn by Princess Victoria and has a scoop neck trimmed with lace; pleats & bows down front, puff elbow-length sleeve, a slightly V-shaped waist line, an unpressed pleated skirt, and silk velvet fabric design printed in vertical & horizontal stripes as in tartan.

1835-1827

1835-1827

Dated 1835-1837 from the Royal Collection Trust , this velvet plaid dress was worn by Princess Victoria and has a scoop neck trimmed with lace; pleats & bows down front, puff elbow-length sleeve, a slightly V-shaped waist line, an unpressed pleated skirt, and silk velvet fabric design printed in vertical & horizontal stripes as in tartan.

1840-1845

1840-1845

Dress, two-piece, consisting of bodice with pagoda and wide skirt of green / red / blue / black checkered silk, ca. 1840-45. via the Museum of Amsterdam.

1840s-1850s

1840s-1850s

A tartan taffeta gown with day and evening bodices, late 1840s-early 1850s, the evening bodice with short sleeves now attached to the skirt, the day bodice with shirring to waist and pagoda sleeves.

c. 1845

c. 1845

A silk tartan daydress, c. 1845, Australian

1845-1848

1845-1848

Tartan evening dress with illusion over sleeves, 1845-1848, France, from the Museo de la Moda

1845

1845

Tartan Dress, Britain, 1845, The Victoria & Albert Museum This dress features long, tight sleeves, a high, round neck and the long, pointed waistline which defined the 40s. The tartan silk-satin is accentuated with a front lace fastening. The only trimmings on the gown are its agate stud buttons mounted on black velvet bows above the wrists. The dress’ bodice is piped on all the main seams and is entirely lined with cotton. Agate was considered a wholly Scottish stone and, at the time, the majority of Scottish jewels included agate on silver.

c. 1845

c. 1845

A silk tartan daydress, c. 1845, Australian

1850s

1850s

It's Museum Monday! Today we have an 1850's lady's printed wool robe with taffeta tartan/plaid trim. Made from mushroom wool with floral swags and flowering branches in red, pink, green, blue and white, the collared sleeve, cuff, yoke and front panel are in plaid taffeta, with red silk frogs to the hem, a back set-in waist with back drawstring, polished cotton lining. This item falls in the category of a paletot or pardessus -a tailored coat made to fit neatly over an outfit, and often to match a specific dress in colour and style. A woman could order a walking suit, including a bodice, waistcoat, jacket and skirt, and then a matching paletot for cooler or wet weather to complete the ensemble. It would cover her torso and about half way down her skirt, and crafted to fit for the size of the crinoline or bustle. There were paletots made to go with any outfit, and were similar to capes with sleeves.

1850-1855

1850-1855

An American evening gown with tartan insets of silk and cotton, 1850-1855, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum Notes: This subdued plaid of this dress was designed after Scottish tartans which became popular in the 1850s due to Queen Victoria (1837-1901) taking part-time residence at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The plaid stripes alternating with more subdued plain stripes draw particular attention to the beauty of the textile.

1850s

1850s

An autumn-toned tartan silk dress from the 1850's -2 piece blue, black, cream and mocha taffeta, boned high neck collarless bodice with striped fringed pagoda sleeve and flounce, five faux dorset buttons, front hook & eye closure, and full skirt with waist pleats.

1853-1857

1853-1857

A red, green, and white tartan day dress, 1853-1857, from the Chester County Historical Museum, Pennsylvania. This green and red plaid silk dress epitomizes the look of the mid-1800s with its wide bell shaped skirt and pagoda sleeves. Matching the plaids would have required additional fabric, making this dress expensive. The light to dark gradation of the green silk fringe and the slightly puffed sleeve caps provide the perfect embellishment to the otherwise simple gown.

1854-1855

1854-1855

A silk blue and white dress with fringed braid and a Tattersall pattern woven into the white, 1854-1855, from the Palais Galliera Museum, Paris. Click for detail. in 1854, fashionable dressmakers decided that the skirts which hitherto had been worn wider round the hem were to be increased in circumference and stiffened. To add some internal stiffening to hold them out, highly starched linen petticoats were tried for a time, but were abandoned by dressmakers in favor of the horsehair and linen material known as "crinoline" which had been used during the 1830's for keeping the "manches a gigot" sleeves in position. However, this still did not give it the necessary resistance, so a combination of hoops of steel and steel springs (the "skeleton petticoat") was invented to support the weight of the skirt and the fashionable flounces at the time. By 1858, steel factories existed that catered solely to crinoline manufacturers who could produce up to 4000 crinolines per day! Although some dress reformers saw the crinoline as an improvement on the need for multiple heavy and restricting petticoats, the crinoline came under sharp criticism because it's width and rigidity could impede the wearer from normal tasks, sitting, or even passing through doorways!

1855

1855

An 1855 American tartan silk afternoon dress, from Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum Notes: The female silhouette of the middle of the 19th century consisted of a fitted corseted bodice and wide full skirts. The conical skirts developed between the 1830s, when the high waist of the Empire silhouette was lowered and the skirts became more bell shaped, to the late 1860s, when the fullness of the skirts were pulled to the back and the bustle developed. The flared skirts of the period gradually increased in size throughout and were supported by a number of methods. Originally support came from multiple layers of petticoats which, due to weight and discomfort, were supplanted by underskirts comprised of graduated hoops made from materials such as baleen, cane and metal. The fashions during this time allowed the textiles to stand out because of the vast surface areas of the skirt and a relatively minimal amount of excess trim.

1855

1855

This 1855 pagoda-sleeved plaid French dress is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

1857

1857

A plaid day dress, 1857, made with chemical dyes (Metropolitan Museum). The discovery of aniline and other chemical dye processes in 1857 provided richer more colorfast options, leading to an explosion of brilliant colors and more intricate pattern dyeing options.

c. 1857

c. 1857

Silk tartan dress, circa 1857, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art - from the Victorian tartan craze era, popularized by Queen Victoria.

1857

1857

An 1857 blue silk plaid gown from the Metropolitan Museum - Blue plaid dresses were especially fashionable in the 1850s. Generally more subdued than red or purple plaids, they could be accessorized with blue parasols, bonnets, or gloves.

1859-60

1859-60

An American evening dress in two parts and a pair of matching hair bows (match trimming): taffeta woven with plaid of green, white, and pink; (a) bodice, wide flaring neckline, very short puffed sleeves, boned and laced down center back coming to deep point center back and center front, trimmed with bows and streamers of green and white striped taffeta ribbon; (c,d) hair bows of same ribbon trimming; (a) lined with white linen; (b) skirt very full with fullness in pleats except at center back where it is gathered at waistband; lined throughout with glazed white cotton. Said to have been worn by the Parker ladies.

1860

1860

1860 Ensemble of wool, cotton & silk, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA. The boy's suit seen here mirrors the fashion for plaid which was prevalent at that time, made popular by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A properly dressed boy would have worn an ensemble such as this. Appropriate for the period, knickers accompanied boy's ensembles with skirts as an alternative to girl's pantalettes.

1860

1860

This dress was worn by a Mrs. Ogilvie at the ball given in honour of the Prince of Wales after the inauguration of the Victoria Bridge in Montreal in 1860. A number of members of Montreal's industrial middle class were in attendance. Mr. Ogilvie was one of those who contributed to the growth of Montreal in the second half of the 19th century. In 1854, he founded the company of A. W. Ogilvie & Co., a consortium of millers and grain merchants that became one of the country's most enterprising flour-milling operations. Mr. Ogilvie was also an eminent member of the Scottish community, which played such a major role in the city's business activities. Indeed the fabric of this dress, a variation on the tartan of the Ogilvie clan, attests to the Ogilvie family's Scottish roots.

ca. 1860

ca. 1860

A beautiful sky blue, black and white plaid silk daydress, c. 1860's. The bodice has a high neckline and small embroidered button closures down the front, along with a hand-made lace collar. Huge flared pagoda sleeves with wide scalloped edging and matching dark blue scalloped fringe trim are at the shoulder caps and bottom of the sleeves. The inside of the bodice is fully lined with a natural colored mid-weight cotton, and has a provenance written in pencil that says "Belle - 1860's, From an Estate in Mass."

1860

1860

"Think Pink!" A silk day dress from 1875-1878 with tiered bustle, from the exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs . A bustle is a type of framework used to expand the fullness or support the drapery of the back of a woman's dress. Bustles were worn under the skirt in the back, just below the waist, to keep the skirt from dragging. Heavy fabric tended to pull the back of a skirt down and flatten it. The various styles of bustles were made with wires, springs, and mohair padding. 1870s fashion was characterized by a gradual return to a narrow silhouette after the full-skirted fashions of the 1850s and 1860s. By the mid-1880s, the bustle was frequently built into the foundation of the skirt itself. It was amplified in size until 1887, then began immediately to shrink and by 1889 had disappeared altogether. Exaggeration of the feminine posterior has been a periodic theme in Western fashion for several hundred years. Some, such as the chimney bustle, were designed to collapse as the wearer sat down. All bustles required women to sit sideways on chairs, and they also caused a wobble effect when walking.

1863-64

1863-64

A taffeta tartan day dress in green and cream, c. 1863-64 with coat sleeves trimmed in black Chantilly lace.

mid 1860s

mid 1860s

A tartan and satin dress from the mid 1860's, Bath Fashion Museum, featured in their 2013 Fifty Fabulous Frocks Collection.

c. 1870s

c. 1870s

A Black Watch tartan wool coat from the 1870s. An unusual feature of this coat is that the back panels of the skirt can be raised with laces threaded through metal eyes, a likely variation of the Victorian "skirt lifter" mechanisms devised to prevent the bottom of garments from dragging along in the street mud.

c. 1870s

c. 1870s

Red and green walking suit from the 1870s

c. 1870

c. 1870

This dress was worn c1870 by Princess Alexandra, Edward VII's wife, to an event at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It's on exhibit at the Fashion Museum in Bath. Photo from BBC History Magazine

1873-1875

1873-1875

Bustle tartan dress showing the early 1870s style, dated 1873-1875. American, wool tartan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ca. 1880s

ca. 1880s

Children's dress, 1880s, probably American, of plaid silk and wool. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

ca. 1880s

ca. 1880s

Green and Red Bustle Day Dress

1882

1882

A French puce colored bustle dress with tartan accents, 1882, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection Puce is the French word for flea. The color is said to be the color of bloodstains on linen or bedsheets, even after being laundered, from a flea's droppings, or after a flea has been crushed. The color puce became popular in the late 18th century in France. It appeared in clothing at the Court of Louis XVI, and was said to be a favorite color of Marie Antoinette, though there are no portraits of her wearing it. Puce was also a popular fashion color in 19th-century Paris. In one of his novels, Émile Zola described a woman "dressed in a gown of a dark color...between puce and the color of goose poop (caca d'oie)." Puce is recognized as either: a dark red or purple brown color, a brownish purple, or a "dark reddish brown." Museum Notes: The late nineteenth century in fashion is governed by both the somewhat typical constructions of lace and silk eveningwear, and the fairly new and "modern" representations of women's sport and travel clothing. While most intriguing are the avant-garde developments of the Bloomer pants and the many adaptations of the women's riding habit, which incorporated menswear affectations into both its ornamentation and its construction, the women's walking costume is one of the most difficult ensembles to find currently in pristine condition. Partially because few women felt compelled to include such a pedestrian costume in their trousseaus, and partially due to the natural deteriorations caused by light, moisture and old age, the well-kempt walking costume of the 1880s and 1890s can be found in few modern costume collections. The construction of the ensemble's bustle is squarely in congruence with the trendy shape of the second bustle period, and the Curaisse-shaped infra-structure and tightly rounded sleeve are unequivocal documentations of this period in fashion.

1887-1888

1887-1888

Left: 1887 American; Right: 1888 Scottish The Metropolitan Museum of Art

c. 1845

c. 1845

A silk tartan daydress, c. 1845, Australian

c. 1890

c. 1890

Museum Notes: Circa 1885/1900 Scotland or North England Rare Winter set Corset and Skirt very Middle Class, in Tartan of Scottish wool and Velvet dating from the end of the Victorian period - North England or Scotland. Fitted bodice with small spinach velvet collar and wool tartan fully lined with brown and cream woven cotton. Puffed faux-velvet sleeves with buttons on the cuffs. Tartan and velvet skirt decorated with large buttons covered with velvet.

ca. 1897

ca. 1897

A French plaid mauve wool Day Dress trimmed with ribbon, braid, and machine-made lace, silk, boned, lined with cotton, ca. 1897. For the fashionable, yet strong-minded woman. This dress was worn by the mother of the donor and is said to have been bought in Paris. It was probably ready-made. Boleros and figure-moulding, flared skirts were very fashionable at the time. The Queen periodical showed examples with epaulettes, blouse fronts and pointed belts (2 April 1895). Another magazine illustrated a similar example: 'The newest bell skirts are absolutely without fullness at the top….It fits closely over the hips and begins to form a series of fluted pleats a little above the knee' ('Our Lessons in Dressmaking', Myra's Journal, 80, 1 April 1894).

1901

1901

An American tartan wool cape, 1901, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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