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18th Century European Costume

YOU ARE IN: Art and Design; Costume and Textiles; European Costume 18th Century European Costume

Glasgow Museums has a collection of approximately 80 items of 18th century European costume.

This collection comprises costume, clothing and accessories. It includes examples of women’s formal and semi-formal dresses made from expensive silks, and men’s waistcoats beautifully decorated with embroidered flowers and metal spangles. Among notable items, there is a very rare man’s coat of hard tartan (roughly 1740s), and a cream silk polonaise gown (about 1780).

Costume and accessories from this period are quite rare. This is because many items were passed on to servants or to the large second-hand clothing trade, and eventually would have been turned into rags. The pieces in this collection were likely to have been worn by the middle classes and retained for their sentimental or material value.