Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Selections from the 18th century dress collection of Talbot Hughes


Talbot Hughes was a wealthy artist who, over the course of two decades, amassed an extensive collection of English fashions and fashion accessories, all dating from the 16th through the 19th century. In 1913, Hughes sold his vast collection to the famous Harrods Department Store in London. Harrods, in turn, gifted the collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1913.

Some of the dresses and suits donated to the V&A were collected in a book volume titled Old English Costumes. I found some digitized scans of the 18th century pieces featured in the book on, a selection of which I've posted below. What I most appreciate about these scans is how the fashions are being displayed--they are brought to life through poses and backdrops that give them more immediacy than a standard museum display.

All images are from

Some of the collection of Talbot Hughes, including a gorgeous sack back gown, can be found at the V&A Digital Collection website.

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