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Woman's Spencer jacket

A work made of cotton, plain weave, hand-block printed; cotton lining.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of cotton, plain weave, hand-block printed; cotton lining.


c. 1800



About this artwork

Beginning in the 1790s the prevailing fashion for light, sheer cotton gowns necessitated a range of accessories to keep women warm. The short Spencer jacket complemented high-waisted gowns such as this example in the museum’s collection (AIC 2019.787.1). The woman’s version was adapted from menswear and was probably inspired by the English second Earl of Spencer (1758–1834), who reportedly cut off the tails of a damaged coat and invented a new style. Short jackets were made of a variety of fabrics; this example’s block-printed cotton is a product of the French printing industry that was inspired by the global trade in colorful, Indian cotton fabrics.


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Woman's Spencer jacket


France (Object made in)


Made 1796–1804


Cotton, plain weave, hand-block printed; cotton lining


[None found]


Overall width with sleeves extended: W.: 151.1 cm (59 1/2 in.); Overall: H.: 30.5 cm (12 in.); Sleeve: H.: 63.5 cm (25 in.); Center back: H.: 20.3 cm (8 in.)

Credit Line

Belle M. Borland Endowment Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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