This dress had been up for sale on an online platform. It was purchased at a tag sale from an owner who lived in Sayville, New York. That is all the information that was provided to me by the seller, who had the kind courtesy of letting me use the photographs in order to document this beauty.
Hand embroidered Celtic designs decorate the chest and front of the skirt in light purple / baby pink, black, green, yellow, blue and red. The Cuffs and seam both have the same continuous design of Celtic knots in green, blue and yellow, which is only interrupted in the front of the skirt to emphasize the bigger design.
The cape is of rectangular shape with marks of perhaps brooches on the two top sides where it attaches to the dress. I have not yet come across a cape of this particular design. It must have been tailored like this in order to make enough space for the unique embroidery on it.
The embroidery displays particular skill, depicting the symbol of an Irish harp with vine-like plants of simple leaves decorating it along with shamrocks. It is quite stunningly elaborated and I would love to find out more about it or see it from up close for a more detailed examination.
The fabric on the back of the dress shows signs of peeling, most likely due to the cape.
The collar is white and crocheted.
There is a zip fastener on the back of the dress.
Looking at the type of design and comparing to other, similar dresses, I would probably date the dress between the 60’s and early 80’s. If anyone could give me more details on this, I would be happy to hear from you!
S.S.K. Marbach, 2020
The top of the cape is soiled and there are some brown stains on bottom of skirt (see photos). It does need a dry cleaning. It has a hand-made lace collar and the skirt is lined.
- Shoulder seam to skirt bottom 30”
- Waist seam to skirt bottom 12 1/2”
- Sleeve seam top to bottom 18”
- Cape 27”
- All photographs with kind courtesy of the seller.
One reply to “Light Blue Irish Dancing Dress With Cape / Harp Design”
This dress was worn by The Iris Gray School of Irish Dance located in Danbury, CT in the late 1970’s.