Martha Washington's dress

Martha Washington's dress

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Description
Dress worn by Martha Washington. The gown's basic style is typical of the early 1780s. The painted pattern on the silk taffeta is a repeat of four floral bouquets and 58 creatures (butterflies, ants, beetles, snails, bees, grasshoppers, wasps, ladybugs, spiders, and grubs) places within the spaces between the ribbon-trellis pattern. Each crossover is accented with a painted green "jewel."
The fabric displays characteristics common to 18th- century hand-painted Chinese textiles: fluid brush strokes, white lead base coat of paint, green malachite pigment for the "jewels," and a 30-inch selvage-to-selvage width.
The collar and cuffs are reproductions
Object Name
Dress
Date made
Late 18th Century
user
Washington, Martha
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
salmon pink; green (overall color)
Measurements
overall: 55 in x 33 in x 48 in; 139.7 cm x 83.82 cm x 121.92 cm
ID Number
1987.0080.01
catalog number
1987.0080.01
accession number
1987.0080
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. John McFarland Bergland and Mrs. Asher Abbott White
subject
First Ladies
First Ladies
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, First Ladies Collection
Clothing & Accessories
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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