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Christening Gown
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Title: Christening Gown
Identifier: X964.100.16
Donor: Unknown
Item Date: 1880-1910
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: White cotton, hand sewn baptismal gown with two rows of lace inserted in skirt. Two sections of three rows of tucking; bodice has eyelet lace inserted in a 'v' shape. The sleeves have eyelet lace on the shoulder and eyelet lace around the sleeves while the gown closes with ties at the neck and waist.

Up until the 17th century young babies were wrapped in tight swaddling clothes carried to the font in a bearing cloth. This was a large square of lavishly trimmed silk. It evolved to a front opening robe fastened with ribbon ties showing a petticoat beneath, in the mid- 18th century. The first Christening robes were made in the style worn every day by 18th century children. Both boy and girl children wore slip dresses, with a very long flowing skirt falling from a short, tucked bodice, low neck and short sleeves. This fashion has remained popular for Christening ever since.
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