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Christening Gown
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Title: Christening Gown
Identifier: X964.100.18
Donor: Unknown
Item Date: 1880-1920
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Long white cotton, hand and machine stitched baptismal or christening gown. The gown has four inserts of eyelet with layers of tucking in between. Eyelet lace found on each side sewn length wise and also on the sleeves. The bodice has three sets of inserted lace with embroidery in between and insertion of eyelet lace around neck.

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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