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Stomacher, mid-18th century

This is a Stomacher. It is dated mid-18th century and we acquired it in 1962. Its medium is silk, metallic, paperboard and its technique is embroidered. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The stomacher was a necessary element of a woman’s daily wardrobe in the eighteenth century. Often elaborately decorated with embroidery, ribbon bows, and metal threads, the triangular shaped accessory covered the open front of the robe à la française. As the fundamental style of dress during this period, these gowns were characterized by their front opening and pair of box pleats falling down the back. The stomacher was pinned into the dress with each wear and, because it was removable, could be used to adorn multiple dresses in a woman’s wardrobe.
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. The silver threads would have enhanced the wearer’s beauty by catching the light, while also demonstrating her wealth.

This object was bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf (American, 1887–1961). It is credited Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 36.5 x 26 cm (14 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Stomacher, mid-18th century; silk, metallic, paperboard; H x W: 36.5 x 26 cm (14 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.); Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf; 1962-52-16

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Stomacher, mid-18th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>