Regency Dresses on Exhibit at the MHS

I must admit that I am not a sign-reader at museum exhibits. Unless it's a topic I'm completely enthralled with, I just look at the artifacts and occasionally skim the reading. This is, at times, unfortunate because I don't get the needed information for pictures I take. I remember looking around for a sign about these dresses, but don't remember seeing much. The first two dresses were in the War of 1812 exhibit, so I'm pretty sure they are from that time period, though I don't know who they belonged to. The last two dresses were from an exhibit on Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, who I believe married Napoleon's brother and was divided between life in Europe and her life in Baltimore.

I'll be putting a selection of photos here, but I put them all up on Flikr - I'm still new to that photo venue, so I hope the link works. Click here to see all the photos.

A lovely printed dress with a ruffle along the bust, high neckline, and long sleeves with a drawstring ruffle sleeve.
The fabric appeared to be a light cotton.

Gorgeous border print!

The back

I took a peek underneath the bodice and look what I found!
It looks like the bodice is gathered as a completely separate piece. I wonder if a different bodice cut is underneath for warmer weather.

A lovely pink and cream striped ballgown.
It might be a silk satin?
Yes, that's The White House burning in the background.

Look at the lace and that woven design!
the back train

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte gown:

This gown, I believe, is the early 1800s with the train and simple white fabric.
The only detail is on the sleeves.

Gorgeous shawl! I was drooling over this one. The color is just incredible!

Love the sleeve detail.

Simple drawstring back
 Some beautiful Regency paintings:

I love this one of Elizabeth Bonaparte


  1. Thank you for posting these pictures, I love that first dress. I have some fabric that would suit that very well, but I am thinking that I might make it as a walking ensemble, dress and spencer.


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