This is a late 18th century open Polonaise gown in the loveliest blue silk. The front edges of the bodice have a silk band of small box pleats. The short sleeves have a slightly pointed elbow edge. These may originally have had the addition of lace engageants. The back of the bodice has shaped tucks and the skirt is finely pleated. The skirt has side slits for access to a pocket that could be worn underneath (see a compatible example of such a pocket available on this site). The blue silk has yellow selvedges and the bodice is lined with fine linen. The most interesting feature of the skirt is two pairs of linen tapes on the inside. When these are tied together on each side they create the delightful polonaise puffed appearance. The gown is in very good sound condition – the only problem being some underarm discolouration and scattered minimal fraying. The gown has been teamed with a compatible late 18th century cream silk quilted petticoat of equivalent age. This complements the polonaise gown and allows it to present well. This lined petticoat is in good condition for age but needs a new waist band. There are a couple of splits and the occasional scattered small hole, and part of the hem needs reinforcing. This gown looks lovely with the very fine fichu that is currently available on this site (see image). Also included is a modern reproduction pannier - when each side is filled with padding it helps present the gown in the style of its era. It would be an exceptional addition to a display or collection of early fashion items. Petticoat length 39 ins (99cm). Length of gown approximately 52 ins (132cm). Waist approximately 28 ins (71cm). Underarm to underarm 16.5 ins (42cm). Please note that this lovely item has been in storage, so once shipped it may still retain a whiff of mothballs. This should settle with airing.