Spencers are not unlike bonnets, in my mind. They’re more work than a bonnet, sure, but compared to the layer cake that is an English gown, a Spencer is a batch of cupcakes.
I’ve fondled more silks than I may care to admit (oh, remnant table, how I love thee), and often picked up and put down a small length because it was patterned. Not enough for a gown, just enough for a Spencer. But Spencers are always solid.
It’s a Homer-quality forehead-slapping moment.
Not only are there extant cotton roller-print Spencers, and wild printed cotton Spencer ensembles in North American collections, there’s print evidence of patterned silks for Spencers. Somehow, until I came across this plate and the description in Ackermann’s, I could not make the leap from cotton to silk.
My sole defense is that one patterned Spencer is still a zebra among horses.
But additional evidence, in the form of recommendations for spring in Ackermann’s? The zebra’s looking a little more like a horse.
Many, many thanks to Mr B for the tip!