Court train

Date: ca. 1809

Culture: French

Medium: silk, metal thread

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1932

Accession Number: 32.35.10


This court train is said to have been worn by Armandine-Marie-Georgine de Serent at Napoleon's Marriage to Marie-Louise in 1810. In 1808, the wearer had married the prince de Leon, chamberlain to the emperor, and this costume closely follows the ettiquette for ladies at court, as established by the designs of the painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey for Napoleon's coronation as emperor in 1804. The heavy train hangs from shoulder straps and is secured at the front with a belt. The standing lace collar, or cherusque, part of Isabey's design and reminiscent of 16th-century costume , was de rigueur, and the embroidery also follows the regulations set down in 1804. The border does not exceed the four-inch width prescribed for a woman who was neither a princess of the Empire nor a close female relative of the emperor or empress.