25 Victorian Dresses Worth a Fortune

It was 1858, Paris, France.It was 1858, Paris, France. English fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth “the father of haute couture” had opened the famous House of Worth on the Rue de la Paix.

Worth had worked at Swan & Edgar and Lewis & Allenby in London, then moved to France to work at Maison Gagelin in Paris. Empress Eugenie had hired Gagelin to supply the trousseau for her wedding to Napoleon III, Emperor of France.

When Worth opened his own house, he was introduced to Eugenie … and the rest is history. Her patronage boosted his reputation and he was soon dressing the royalty of Europe.

While Worth dressed royalty, Franz Xaver Winterhalter painted royalty.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, painter (1805-1873).Winterhalter was a German painter who became one of the leading court portraitists of the 19th century. His skill at creating a flattering likeness of royals earned him a reputation as a specialist in dynastic and aristocratic portraiture.

Here are 25 dresses painted by Franz Winterhalter, many of which will have been designed by the House of Worth in Paris.

Have fun voting for your favorite!




David James

David James

I'm an Englishman in Boston. History is a joy—it binds us, it connects us, it guides us. I'm interested in making history more accessible and more fun. Join me on this fantastic voyage through time.