This silk outfit belonged to a noble family from the Comtat Venaissin, whose dresses and outfits are being sold at this auction.
Louis XV period, c. 1765, rococo-style sack-back gown in pink silk taffeta with ikat decoration, full skirt with printed calico train at the back from the Wetter factory in Orange, with brown floral pattern, h. 155 cm/61 in (train).
François-Marie de Gaudin (1738-1817) was the most illustrious member of the Gaudin de Lancier family. Hailing from an ancient lineage from Gordes, in the Vaucluse, he oversaw the Comtat Venaissin—a papal state dating back to 1274, and the seat of a papal vice-legate—as president of its Apostolic Chamber. Imprisoned during the French Revolution, he nonetheless became mayor of Gordes under the Empire. In 2012, some of his family's clothing was partially restored by the Conservatoire du Costume Comtadin for exhibition in the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs in Pernes-les-Fontaines. They illustrate life at the court of Gordes during the Ancien Régime. This silk taffeta sack-back gown, embroidered with parterres and flowering branches, has come down to us in superb condition. Its quality suggests that it was made by the "Grande Fabrique": the Lyon silk weaving guild formed under Jean-Baptiste Colbert in the 17th century, which brought together the master weavers or canuts, the merchant-silk manufacturers and all the trades associated with silk production. Famous throughout Europe for its figured fabrics (made possible by Claude Dango’s technical innovation), it employed 40% of the city's population in 1788.