Collection Online

Doll's dress
(c. 1865)

Artist/s name
Medium
silk, linen, paper, metal
Measurements
53.0 cm (centre back) 15.7 cm (waist, flat)
Place/s of Execution
England
Accession Number
1054-D4
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Lady Nicholson and her daughter, 1951
Gallery location
Not on display
About

During the conservation assessment of this Victorian doll’s dress, it was noted that damage had revealed two small sections of paper containing text (one handwritten, one printed), indicating the existence of paper templates beneath the silk. Intrigued by this evidence, which suggested the use of a traditional quilting method called paper piecing, conservators investigated further to see if it was possible to ‘read’ these fragments. Using a combination of transmitted light and infra-red photographic processes, a number of eerie words and a date became visible.

—text from Fashion Detective (May 2014)