The Empire StyleGown

Autor: Eva Hasalová

The Empire Style Gown is the first publication from the new series entitled Zamerané na predmet (Focused on Object) which strives to present the role of the museum by focusing on specific activities which the staff carries out when researching and preserving items of our cultural heritage. This book presents the oldest dress from the collections of the SNM – Museum of History. This Empire style gown from the historic textile and clothing collection is more than 200 years old and was owned by Maria Zay, a member of the Zay aristocratic family. According to family recollections, she wore this gown at one of the balls during the Congress of Vienna. This publication describes the gown itself, the materials used when making it as well the Empire style fashion. You will also learn about the magazines that Maria Zay bought in order to follow the latest fashion trends. In addition to information about the gown itself, readers will learn about its owner, who due to her education, literary ambitions and charitable activities, is one of the outstanding noblewomen in our history. She lived in Uhrovec, Bučany, Šopron and Vienna and attended and organized literary salons. Her portraits, books from the large family library and her gown which she wore during her stays in Vienna were later donated to different museums in Slovakia. In addition to the story about the gown and its owner, readers will learn about the museum’s acquisition and professional care for fashionable dresses. We believe that this publication will provide new information and inspire a joy of learning not just about history, but about everyday life and clothing.

ISBN 978-880-8060-54541-4

Number of pages: 72


  • Foreword
  • From Chest to Depository
  • Family Treasure – Memento of the Congress of Vienna
  • Owner of the Gown – the Extraordinary Maria Zay
  • The Zay Family in the Kingdom of Hungary
  • Spreading of Fashion Trends and Empire Fashion
  • Fashion in the Kingdom of Hungary
  • Technical Description of the Gown
  • Pattern of Individual Gown Parts
  • Material
  • Maria Zay’s Gown
  • Fashion in Museums
  • Museum Object Presented as Reconstruction of Reality
  • Epilogue
  • Literature
  • Attachments
The Empire StyleGown
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