18th Century Stomachers

Embroidered stomachers

  • Cooper-Hewitt 1984-106-1, late 17th or early 18th century; “This woman’s stomacher is nearly covered in rich silver metallic thread embroidery. At the top is a red and white rose tied with a bow, possibly a Tudor Rose, heraldic symbol of England. Worn with an open robe, it covered the V-shaped opening by pinning or stitching the green tabs to keep it in place, a time-consuming process. Silver threads were laid horizontally over the stomacher, and a series of stepped couching stitches secured the metal threads to the linen foundation while creating a surface pattern. The central panel terminates at the bottom in an arrowhead shape while three tabs lie on either side of it – a remnant from late 17th century fashion.”
  • Manchester 1960.265, c. 1670-1730; “Blue silk over coarse linen with padded embroidery in coloured silks and metal thread mostly in satin stitch and french knots. Scroll and floral pattern”
  • MFA 38.1342, metal threads on blue silk ground with green silk tabs at the sides; France or Italy, late 17th or early 18th century
  • PMA 1972-110-13, silk embroidered in silk and silver-gilt threads, England or France, c. 1690-1735
  • Manchester 1955.174, c. 1698-1702; “cream satin over canvas, embroidered in coloured silks, backed with cream silk”; see also V&A T.182-1958 for similar waistcoat shape
  • Manchester 1953.325, c. 1700; “White satin, embroidered in sections, backed with linen canvas and lined with linen printed in blue; edged with yellow silk; triangular shape cut off at base; raised embroidery in coloured silks, metal thread and spangles; design of pelican and unicorn set in formal scrolls, worked mainly in laid threads with some satin stitch.”
  • V&A T.404-1977 in silk and linen with silk and silver embroidery, England, 1700-1720
  • Manchester 1955.175, c. 1700-1720; “Cream satin, embroidered, backed with natural linen top edge straight, tapering towards rounded base. Embroidered with pinks, rosebuds and other flowers in red, pink, yellow and green silks, silver thread and spangles, worked in long and short stitch, satin and stem stitch, and couching.”
  • MFA 43.1909: Polychrome silk embroidered floral motifs with solidly-covered round of silver yarns and wire on linen canvas, silver yarns and wire on linen canvas, silver yarn over parchment details; large flange at base; seven salmon silk grosgrain tabs at sides (2 missing); green silk binding; France, 1700-1720
  • Manchester 1968.12, c. 1700-1730; “Natural coloured linen embroidered with floral design in pink, fawn and green silks and silver metal thread in satin and stem stitch. Tapering from slightly concave top to blunt pointed base. Embroidered with large sprays of red roses and green leaves against back of serprentine lines backstitched with yellow silk to give quilted effect. 2.5cm borders of embroidered lined down each side, bound brown silk. Thirteen holes down inside edges of borders with gold metal lace threaded in and crossed over. Four linen tape loops seamed to each side for attachment to robe.”
  • CW 1991-485, England, c. 1700-1730; “Woman's stomacher with silk and metal thread needlework on linen, worked through linen backing fabric. Design consists of stylized flowers worked in polychrome silks and metal threads, arranged on a central axis. Background 'quilted' with cross stitches.”
  • Manchester 1957.455, c. 1700-1730; “Cream linen embroidered with coloured silks. Narrow triangular piece of double thickness, slightly concave at top edge, tapering towards slight bulge at base; embroidered with pink carnation and other flowers down centre, in pink, green and yellow silks, mainly in satin stitch, against a background of meandering lines embroidered in yellow silk worked in back stitch.”
  • Manchester 1968.11, c. 1700-1730; “Cream coloured silk satin embroidered with floral design in red, pink, yellow, green and silver metal thread in satin and stem stitch. Backed natural coloured linen, tapering from slightly concave top to blunt pointed base. Embroidered with large sprays of red roses, yellow buds and green leaves. Narrow silver metal braid crossed over and attached to each side from top to bottom. Five linen tape loops seamed to each side for attachment to robe.”
  • Manchester 1968.10, c. 1700-1730; “Cream coloured corded silk embroidered with floral design in shades of pink, brown, and green silk and gold metal thread, trimmed gold metal braid, backed yellow silk figured with design of small dots. Tapering from slightly concave top to pointed base ending in rounded tab with three square-ended tabs at each side of it. Embroidered with large spray of pink roses and green leaves. Edged with narrow gold metal braid, tabs also edged with braid. Narrow gold metal braid crossed over and attached to each side from top to bottom; three yellow silk loops seamed to each side for attachment to robe.”
  • Christie’s Lot 3295 / Sale 4981, an 18th century stomacher panel, “cream silk ground worked with pink and green flowering vines”
  • MFA 43.1911, England, early 18th century
  • MFA 43.1904, an unfinished stomacher: blue silk embroidered with polychrome silk and gilt-silver yarns in design of floral sprig flanked by woman with fan and man with sprig at top, deer flanked by two floral sprigs and insect at center, floral sprig at bottom, England, 1709
  • MFA 38.1343, Italian, early 18th century
  • Meg Andrews 6446, c. 1720-1740; “ivory ribbed silk embroidered with a rose, a carnation and a tulip in shades of crimson and ivory twisted silks, the centre of the rose worked in looped silver metal thread, the small petalled flower at the base with similar centre, and some of the very small flowers surrounding outlined in metal thread, shaded green leaves, the whole outlined in silver metal braid, the centre worked with strips of beaten silver metal, lined in fine linen and with linen side tabs”
  • Patterns for stomachers in Kunst-und Fleiss-übende Nadel-Ergötzungen, 1725: V&A E.3391-1932, V&A E.3392-1932, V&A E.5091-1905
  • PMA 1883-13, silk and gilt metal-wrapped thread on linen, France, c. 1725-1750
  • LACMA M.64.83.1b, Italy (?), c. 1725-1750
  • PMA 1996-148-1a,b, embroidered silk stomacher with matching collar, Italy?, c. 1730-1740
  • Manchester 1956.199, c. 1730-1740; “Pale blue silk embroidered, over white linen triangular, wide at top, base cut off in a short straight line; embroidered with floral spray in red, green and yellow silks and silver spangles and metal thread, worked in long and short stitch and laid work; scroll design embroidered along top edge in silver thread.”
  • MFA 43.1906: White cotton embroidered with polychrome silk and gilt-silver yarns in vining floral motif; two side panels lace with gilt-silver lacing over center panel; four flaring tabs at base; gilt-silver galloon trim; 6 linen tabs and 2 linen ties at sides; linen lining; England, 1730-1740
  • V&A 702-1902 in silk and cotton with silk and silver embroidery, England, 1730-1750
  • Manchester 1947.859, c. 1730-1750; “Cream silk, boned and mounted on stiff canvas, spade-shaped. Embroidered in coloured silks in split stitch in floral design.”
  • V&A T.708B-1913 in silk and linen with silk embroidery, England, 1730-1750
  • Manchester 1947.857, c. 1730-1750; “Cream, corded silk, central panel with arrow-shaped end and side pieces joining the centre with two narrow lappets cut at each side; mounted on coarse linen and boned. Embroidered in coloured silks in flower sprays in split stitch and with spangles and metal thread.”
  • MRAH, a stomacher from a robe à la française, taffeta embroidered with polychrome silks and silver threads, c. 1740
  • Manchester 2008.23, England, c. 1740-1750
  • PMA 1975-135-1, ribbed silk embroidered in silk and metal threads, France, c. 1740-1760
  • Manchester 1947.1269, c. 1740-1760; “Pink satin, laced and embroidered with silk and metal thread, backed with line printed with line and spot pattern in red. Convex V - shape. Concave pointed end, with 7 separate tabs, a larger one central. Boned, outlined with yellow silk and metal thread braid. Wide V shaped laced panel outlined in braid, laced metal thread and silk cord. Embroidered with floral design in mainly in satin-stitch, and laid threads, with raised work, in metal thread and yellow and green silks. Five loops at each side, of the same blockprinted linen/cotton mix, madder red on white, used for backing the stomacher.”
  • MFA 29.1120 embroidered in whitework (linen on linen) in a German knot stitch, America
  • MFA 47.1024, probably American, 1747
  • Cooper-Hewitt 1962-52-16, mid-18th century; “This stomacher is embroidered in a floral motif with a silver-wrapped silk thread. The raised effect is achieved by working the metal threads over pieces of paperboard stuffing. The linen substrate is reinforced with a paper backing, which may have helped it withstand repeated use.”
  • V&A T.68-1947, straw splints couched to linen, with silk and silver thread embroidery; France or Italy, c. 1750
  • Christie’s Lot 3 / Sale 5572, cloth of silver finely worked in coloured silks with a bouquet of flowers and leaves tied with a ribbon, England, mid 18th century
  • MFA 03.1351, silver threads and spangles on white silk; America, mid-18th century
  • MFA 43.123, England
  • Cooper-Hewitt 1962-52-17, a child's stomacher, France
  • Cooper-Hewitt 1971-50-125; “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 … The elaborate silk and metallic embroidery on this stomacher illustrates the importance of the pastoral themes in the French court of the Rococo period.”
  • MFA 43.1905: White silk taffeta embroidered with polychrome silk and gilt-silver yarns; design of seated woman, fruit backets at top sides, birds at bottom sides, flowers between; Italy, 1750-1775
  • Manchester 1947.1268, c. 1750-1780; “White corded silk, embroidered in metal thread; backed with white silk. V-shaped, in two sections with central seam,concave top. Corded silk on central panel, embroidered in chevron pattern, lightly boned, silk ribbon loops at bottom left-hand side and at top and bottom of the right-hand side; arrow-shaped points, with three tabs on either side, bound with corded silk, embroidered with lines of stem stitch.”
  • V&A T.182-1958 mimicking the shape of a waistcoat front, Italy, 1760-1780
  • Manchester 1922.2133, Germany
  • Manchester 1929.345, Britain; “White linen, embroidered with yellow silk. Stitches; background in back; pattern in buttonhole; buttonholed eyelets; edge buttonholed. Pattern; scrolling flower on quilted background. Linen is doubled; threading cord.”

Quilted stomachers

  • Met 79.1.115, cotton and linen, early 18th century
  • Manchester 1947.1266, c. 1700-1750; “White linen backed with coarser linen. Blunt end; embroidered with 2 branches of leaves with flowers (5 in total) in corded quilting.”
  • Manchester 1947.1267, c. 1700-1750; “White linen backed with coarser linen. Tapering, rounded end, with linen pocket. Embroidered with two floral sprays in corded quilting.”
  • V&A T.209-1929 in quilted linen, England, 1730-1750
  • LACMA M.67.8.98, Netherlands, c. 1740-1750; “Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery and cotton corded quilting”

Stomachers with applied trimmings (passementerie, fly fringe, lace, etc.)

  • Manchester 1947.858, France, c. 1700-1730; “White silk stomacher in a V-shape with applique of metals and coloured silks; the top edge is trimmed with silver metal lace.”
  • LACMA M.67.8.99, France, c. 1700-1750; “Silk satin with metallic-thread lace, silk and metallic-thread plain-weave appliqués, metallic-thread passementerie, and tassels”
  • A stomacher with fly fringe and lace, Germany
  • LACMA 63.2.5, France, mid-18th century; “Ombré ribbon, silk thread, fly fringe and lace on silk damask”
  • MFA 43.1838: white silk-covered wire in stylized floral motif, with a starched gauze backing and pink silk lining, mid-18th century
  • MFA 49.918; blue-green silk, front covered with pinked and rouched bands and rosettes in the same color; America, mid-18th century
  • LACMA M.80.27.1, France or Italy, c. 1750; “Patterned silk trimmed with silk ribbon, fly fringe, and lace, paper backing”
  • Stomacher from a court dress worn by Mrs. Ann Fanshawe, 1752-1753; “The stomacher is roughly triangular, with a straight bottom edge; trimmed with eight rows of metal thread braid with bows and tassels alternating with seven rows of ivory, yellow, purple, green and pink silk rosettes; edges finished with cream silk tape.”
  • MFA 43.1913: Gilt-silver lace decorated with salmon, green and blue floss and chenille silk yarns, silk fly fringe and ribbon; mounted on white silk over paper and linen
  • Manchester 1969.50, c. 1750-1770; “Cream silk and linen satin, bound black silk ribbon, lined with white linen and with stiffening of paper and cardboard. Triangle, top edge slightly concave, tapering into waist and out below waist into square base with rounded corners. Narrow braid sewn down centre; three pairs of graduated triangles, bases sewn into sides, points caught at centre by wooden buttons covered with black silk. Pair of irregular sections applied below waist and points caught at centre (two buttons missing); all edges bound with ribbon. One ribbon tab missing above waist at right side.”
  • Manchester 1954.1006, compère stomacher with bows, c. 1770-1780; “Stomacher, cream silk striped in shades of pink and green. Triangular, blunted point at waist; in two halves, caught together down centre beneath nine silk-covered buttons. Ruched and pinked with silk trimming curving from each top corner to base.”

Other stomachers

  • MFA 49.917, possibly French, worn in America, early 18th century. V-shaped stomacher of cloth-of-silver possibly woven to shape; some metallic cord for lacing remains at bottom with evidence of full lacing on silk edging and bands at top; cream silk lining; two interior horizontal bones.
  • Manchester 1972.87, c. 1700-1730; “Cream silk figured in pink, green and brown silks and silver and gold thread, in floral design. Faced buff plain weave; single flat section narrowing to waist and widening out slightly below, ending in rounded central tab with three squared off tabs on each side; narrow (0.5cm) gold braid along top edge, round edges of tabbed section and in three lines down centre converging on central tab, sides bound with yellow plain weave silk, three yellow silk loops on each side to attach to dress; interlined with buckram; top edge of facing turned over and caught back roughly at centre; tabs at lower edge faced separately.”
  • CG CG8.a, a stomacher from the Nether Wallop Cache, found in a farmhouse in Hampshire, England; “The stomacher is formed of five main layers, that have been hand stitched together, an outer layer of yellow rep-weave silk, which is backed with paper. Supporting this there is a layer of whalebone strips, at the widest point twenty-four lines running diagonally down the stomacher. The last two layers form the lining; first there is a layer of natural course weave linen that has been stitched down between each whalebone strip, covering this there is layer of natural colour plain weave linen, block printed in black with a flower pattern. There is also a strip of natural colour linen running down the right-hand side, of the front of the stomacher, which is likely to have been added when it was altered. This is a cream and orange twill-weave fabric, woven to form a pattern of small concentric diamonds. The poor condition of the stomacher has exposed the different layers from which it is composed, making it possible to study the materials and techniques used in its construction. The stomacher has a shallow curved top edge and a spoon shaped base. It is not entirely symmetrical; it appears to have been re-shaped down the right front side. There are also the remains of an additional strip of whalebone down the centre of the stomacher at the back, this is sewn in crudely with thick linen thread. The same linen thread has been used to add a series of random large, stitches across the garment, the purpose of these stitches is not currently known.”
  • Cooper-Hewitt 1938-88-993, design for a jeweled stomacher, Italy, 1725-1750
  • Cooper-Hewitt 1938-88-868, design for a jeweled stomacher, Italy, 1775-1800