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HomeArticlesHistorical periods18th centuryTaking Mrs. Gainsborough Home

Taking Mrs. Gainsborough Home

SquarepicIn the final poignant installment, Julia brings Mrs. Gainsborough and her daughter home to the Georgian artist's historic Suffolk base, to show the complete outfits in all their glory.

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gentlewomanthief  
  A lovely ending to a lovely series! Very intrigued by your Foundling Museum project - will you be documenting this somewhere online?  
 
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julia_barrett  
  I will be, although until the fine details of the project and exhibition are worked up, not quite sure where. Will keep Cathy and co posted though :)  
 
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miss_lizzy882  
Pockets   would the pockets have been worn on the inside of the pocket hoops, or would they have laid over the top?  
 
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julia_barrett  
  Hi Miss Lizzy,

My understanding is that although the pockets would probably have been put on after the hoops, they would then have been tucked into the opening slits on the top of the hoops. This enables quite a bit of stuff to be stored in them without spoiling the line of the gown, and also the containment within the pocket hoops restricts undue excessive movement. I have experimented with storing stuff in the hoops themselves, without pockets, but it unbalances them resulting in awkward swing. As with Mrs Gainsborough's quilted petticoat, extant ones generally fasten on both sides, with a good 7-8" gap left open. This enables the wearer to fossick about under the open skirts of the gown, thrusting her hands through the petticoat side slits, through the slits of the pocket hoops (that line up with the petti ones) and into the pockets themselves relatively easily. Hope this helps.
 
 

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