After some more vascillating I have decided to stick with the pocket hoops – and to also revert to my original time span of 1750-75. Seems like I had it right in the first place, D’oh!
Let me tell you why I have decided this – and feel free to counter, I will listen.
I found two sets of pocket hoops at the Museum today. They were both given dates of c. 1746-1760. I have been skeptical of the dating of artifacts there already, so I was not about to take this just at face value. There were also question marks beside each date: 1746?-1760? Very helpful indeed.
So I started looking hard into some other books. Turns out that Norah Waugh herself suggests in Corsets and Crinolines that pocket hoops were worn from mid-century to 1775, and that the oval kind were discarded for all but the most formal occassions thereafter (p. 47). What this spcecifically refers to is unclear – I think what she means is that the really hugely crazily wide panniers of the 1740s survived only in highly formal/court dress. More modest oval hoops were surely not dropped as of New Year’s Eve 1750.
I also looked at the Cunningtons’ book The History of Underclothes, where they suggest pocket hoops were used as early as the 1740s (p. 60). My own feeling is that this is a little early, however it does support the notion that the 1750s is a reasonable date by which to see them.
The solution I am currently considering is making the pocket hoops, and in the exhibition displaying an image of the oval variety with label copy on its presence and position.
What do you think?
I’ve been debating back and forth about this with myself for a little while now and am having a hard time deciding.
Should I make pocket hoops, which I’ve done before (albeit mostly by machine), and seem easiest/quickest:
Or should I make an oval hoop petticoat (as yet untried, and more complicated if the example I saw at the V&A in Feb is any indication, but seemingly more widely used):
Please send in votes to help me with this dilemna!