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Stomacher (France), 18th century

This is a Stomacher. It is dated 18th century and we acquired it in 1971. Its medium is silk and metallic (metal-wrapped silk core) embroidery on silk foundation, with flat metal strips, wire coils; linen backing and its technique is embroidered in satin and stem stitches, couched flat metal strips, metal-wrapped silk, and flat strips with metal-wrapped silk; wire coils attached; faces and arms painted; on plain weave foundation. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Stomachers were an important part of a women's dress from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. These stiff, triangular panels were usually highly ornamented with embroidery, ribbons, and jewels. The close-fitting bodices of women’s dresses were constructed with an open V in the front so that the stomacher could be pinned in place, and it could be changed for different styles or occasions.
The elaborate silk and metallic embroidery on this stomacher illustrates the importance of the pastoral themes in the French court of the Rococo period. For example, Louis XV often held court masque balls where courtiers would dress as shepherds and shepherdesses. Royal mistress Madame de Pompadour was known for her love of decorative arts with pastoral design schemes and pastoral-themed performances at the Théâtre des Petits Cabinets at Versailles.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled A Pastoral Fantasy.

This object was bequest of Marian Hague. It is credited Bequest of Marian Hague.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 40 x 26 cm (15 3/4 x 10 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Stomacher (France), 18th century; silk and metallic (metal-wrapped silk core) embroidery on silk foundation, with flat metal strips, wire coils; linen backing; H x W: 40 x 26 cm (15 3/4 x 10 1/4 in.); Bequest of Marian Hague; 1971-50-125

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Stomacher (France), 18th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 December 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>