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House of Lobkowicz

Dress of Polyxena of Pernštejn

Dress of Polyxena of Pernštejn, 1st Princess of Lobkowicz

Lobkowicz-Rožmberk Salon, Lobkowicz Palace, until January 15th 2019

During the Advent, State Castle Český Krumlov loaned a copy of Polyxena of Lobkowicz’s dress to the Lobkowicz Museum. Until January 15th 2019, visitors can admire it on the second floor of our permanent exhibition at the Lobkowicz Palace Museum. The dress, created by Veronika Pilná, was modeled on a 1585 portrait by Roland de Mois, owned by the Lobkowicz Collections.

Designing an authentic replica of the dress was grounded in several basic and necessary guidelines: the overall accuracy of shape and cut, as close a resemblence as possible to the original dress, and period-accurate handiwork, including appropriate materials. In order to re-create the silhouette of a dress from the second half of the 16th century, a lower corset and a Spanish conical farthingale (called a verdugado) were manufactured.

The pieces, including the petticoat and the undercoat, were sewn according to preserved period clothing in European museums, as well as patterns from Juan de Alcega’s book from the late 16th century. All visible seams are hand sewn to achieve the proper historical appearance.

The replica of the dress was made on a 1: 1 scale with the portrait in the Lobkowicz Collections. After analyzing the painting, fabric, lace, and jewelry were selected to match the originals. The company Sartor created a special fabric of pure silk, printed with the same pattern as in the portrait, which was achieved by redrawing and translating the design into an electronic form. Linen and cotton were the only materials used for backing and reinforcement.

In regard to the jewelry, both the total number and size of the individual pieces were important. Jeweler Jana Jonášová created a belt, a necklace, and more than 60 other decorative appliques. Lace was also an important embellishment in the portrait. A sketch of this lace was given to Ivana Sieberová and her team of lace makers from the Klatovy Museum. They invented several experimental designs, from which one option was chosen. A total of 6 meters of handmade bobbin lace had to be manufactured.

The embroidery and dress assembly lasted approximately 265 hours. The jewelry was created over the course of 2 months. After all this demanding work, the end result was an authentic replica that matched the appearance of the original dress. The following people also contributed to the project: the restorer Jana Trsková, Lenka Vaňková, the curator of collections and the furniture funds of NPÚ (National Heritage Institute) in Olomouc, and the restorer Vendula Otavská, who also contributed notes regarding terminology, as well as other advice.

State Castle Český Krumlov loaned a copy of Veronika Pilná’s dress to the Lobkowicz Collections.

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