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Portrait of a Woman in SilkHidden Histories of the British Atlantic World$
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Zara Anishanslin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197051

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197051.001.0001

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Anne Shippen Willing, 1710–1791

Anne Shippen Willing, 1710–1791

Chapter:
(p.165) 8. Anne Shippen Willing, 1710–1791
Source:
Portrait of a Woman in Silk
Author(s):

Zara Anishanslin

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300197051.003.0010

This chapter details the life of Anne Shippen Willing, who wore Spitalfields silk woven by Simon Julins for her 1746 portrait. Born in Philadelphia in 1710, Anne lived a privileged life from the start. The Shippens were one of the most powerful families in colonial Pennsylvania, made wealthy through successive generations of transatlantic mercantile trade and substantial provincial land ownership. In 1730, when she was twenty years old, Anne married an ambitious young Anglican, Charles Willing. Like his bride, Charles came from a family of merchants. Anne posed for at least three portraits wearing flowered silk. Her affection for flowered silk documented in her portraits shows that she shared the widespread affection for the botanical that shaped landscapes, fashion, and science around the British Atlantic. Her portraits also tell us something about women's agency in driving the consumer choices that shaped the eighteenth-century British imperial marketplace.

Keywords:   Anne Shippen Willing, silk, Spitalfields, portrait, Simon Julins, Charles Willing, consumer choices, British imperial marketplace

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