Princess Murat Dress Going On Display In July

Jun 26, 2017

A dress once worn by a very historic Tallahasseean has been restored to very near its original glory.

Howard Sutcliffe, principal conservator for Birmingham, AL-based River Region Costume & Textile Conservation and Mary Anne Price, past regent for the Fort San Luis Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, pose with the restored Princess Catherine Murat dress.
Credit Tom Flanigan

The dress dates back to 1854 and has now been restored by prominent textile conservator Howard Sutcliffe.

"(It's) lightweight, tropical weight, printed cotton," he explained at Sunday's (6/25) media preview of the garment. "Madder and indigo dyes of somewhat local manufacture maybe. It's really interesting."

The dress, says Mary Anne Price with the Daughters of the American Revolution, belonged to Princess Catherine Murat.

"She was a great grand niece of George Washington and a granddaughter of a patriot in his own right, Fielding Lewis."

She was also the widow of Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon. The couple's mansion is on the grounds of the Tallahassee Museum where Russell Daws is in charge.

"It's a beautiful dress!" he exclaimed. "The fact that she wore it in her daily life, it's fascinating. What a great story!"

The dress goes on public display at the Tallahassee Museum next month.