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Turnbull & Asser burgundy paisley traditional silk Jacquard gown

In his captivating tome A History of the World in 100 Objects, the British art historian and former museum director Neil MacGregor explores the breadth of human endeavour via the prism of various artefacts — from chopping tools found in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge to early Victorian tea sets that offer a wealth of insight into Britain’s imperial exploits.

Were a spin-off book to focus purely on the history of fine apparel, this enviable piece of eveningwear from the holders of the first Royal Warrant ever issued by the Prince of Wales, the Jermyn Street outfitter Turnbull & Asser, could spark a conversation that begins with Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s invention of his eponymous loom in Lyon before heading north, to the wine region after which the colour burgundy is named. From here it could move on to the teardrop-shaped motif we refer to as

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