European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

EFHA Focus: Manteau de Cour, 1810

1800sfashion history

A precious early 19th century court train from the collection of Centraal Museum Utrecht.

The image shows a lavender-coloured Manteau de Cour of moire silk dating probably around 1810. It is the only example in the Netherlands to date of a court train from the  period during which the Netherlands were under the French rule of Bonaparte. The train has an border that runs around the whole piece; the embroidery is made of ivory-coloured chenille and pearl-coloured beads and is remarkably broad, measuring 26 cm at its widest point.

The embroidery allows to learn something more about the actual biography of the object itself, and about its role in history. In fat, it may point to the garment’s royal origins: the Cérémonial de l’Empire Français from 1805 states that all ladies granted access to the court wear a garment of the same form as that of the Empress and that, if the ladies choose to have an embroidered border, this may not exceed one decimeter in width.