Friday, October 2, 2015

1850's Pinstriped Ballgown

From the seller:

Impressive pinstripe silk antebellum ballgown dating to the 1850s. Deaccession from NYC musuem with pleated fan front trimmed in lace and velvet ribbon, bodice is lined and stayed with lace up back missing lacings, unlined skirt with scarcenet liner at hem and wool floor brush tape at hem. In only fair condition displays well, with scattered cracks to the silk, breaks to lace fragile as found with storage smell. Chest 32" waist 22" length in front 57" back 63".

From Me:

I *think* probably around 1856 but it could be later than that.

1860's Green Plaid Bodice

From the seller:

Green silk plaid fancy bodice dating to the 1860s. Front hook and eye with silk covered buttons, lined with stays, fancy ruffles on sleeves. Museum deaccession with staining in arm pits and scattered age/storage marks. Chest measures 34" waist 22" length 14", sleeves 19".

From Me:


The black and white dress in the fashion plate above has similar sleeve trim placement. I'd put this at the tail end of the American Civil War.

Late 1860's (?) Fancy Dress

From the seller:

Fancy rose pink silk ballgown dating to the late 19thc. Side closing bodice fully lined with interior stays and underarm pads, decorated with white organza, short sleeve. Skirt may have had additional underskirt, dramatic scallop hem decorated with ruffled organza and velvet ribbon. Original hardware. In overall very good antique condition the silk is strong no underam staining. Chest measures 32" waist 22" length in front 40" in back 49".

From Me:

Based on the skirt shape and the sleeves, I think this is a late 1860's Fancy Dress. What we would call today costumes in the 1860's were out of this world crazy. For instance,

That is supposed to be a hand fan costume. There are tons of drawings of tea length fancy dresses, super crazy fancy dresses, regional fancy dresses - we've got nothing on what they were doing in the 1860's, really.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Regency Era Button Back Dress

From the seller:

This is a really exquisite dress dating from about 1815. It is of pale coffee silk with cream trim. The high waist is in the style of the day, it has long sleeves and back fastening. The skirt falls from the high waist and is generously gathered at the back. The hem, sleeves and shoulders are trimmed with delightful padded "cushions". The bodice is lined in beige cotton/linen.
The highlight of this lovely dress is the fine hand.pleating on the back bodice.Narrow hand worked pleats which must have taken hours of difficult sewing. In addition to this, there are the original tiny buttons and buttonholes, all beautifully worked. Delightful!

This lovely dress is in very good condition. There is very slight fading to part of the skirt and one sleeve,but this is only visible in certain lights. The silk reflects, so the fading is not a great problem. There is one very small hole at the back waist. The under-arms are good. Just a little creased from wear, but no shattering of the silk or bad marks. The bodice lining is slightly marksed from wear, but in keeping with the age, and having been worn.
I cannot detect any obvious alterations. All in all a beautiful dress and very much "of the era". Strong silk and no weaknesses that I can detect.

Measurements: Length from shoulder to hem 56". High waist approx. 28". Across shoulders 13"

From Me:

I think this dress was reworked several times. There are elements of a couple of different decades. The back pleating is very 1790's. The extreme high waistline is 1800's. However, the roped hem and the puffy decorations on the dress are more in keeping with the late 1810's/early 1820's.  There is one from about 1819 in the Met with similar decorations and looks to have a corded hem.  I'm putting this in the 1810's but know it could have easily been worn in the early 1820's as well.

1840's (?) Child's Dress

From the Seller:

This little girl's summer dress is beautifully hand worked in a fabric typical of the period. It has a cream background with a tiny design in dark pink. The dress has the usual wide neckline, little trimmed cap sleeves, a drawstring at the waist and neck. All the drawstrings are present, which is quite unusual. The bodice is beautifully made with box pleats from waist to neckline. The skirt is very full, and draws up very prettily.

The condition is excellent, with just one timy mark on the back skirt. Otherwise crisp and fresh.

Measurements: Length 28". Across shoulders including sleeves 14" (the little sleeves are 3")

From Me:

This could easily be either a little boy's or a little girl's dress. There really isn't anything to indicate gender. I believe this is from the 1840's based on similar necklines and bodice treatments existing in adult clothing at that time period. The seller indicates they believe it to be from between 1825-1830 in the auction's title. Below is a photo of a child wearing a very similar dress.

Regency Era Bonnet

From the seller:

A simple but charming girl's brown glazed cotton bonnet dating to about 1810. The bonnet is nicely constructed and all hand stitched with a drawstring into the back neck, and ties.

This bonnet is in good condition with just a few pin holes in the back, only visible when held to the light.

The bonnet measures approximately 7" from crown to brim.

From me:


The one in the bottom left corner of the above 1801 fashion plate looks the most similar to the extant one.  However, this style was popular off and on for a while in the early 19th century so it could be much later.  

I took the fashion plate from Scene in the Past on flickr who states the following:

English fashion plates from 1801, and French fashion plates from Year 9 (1800-1801) of the French Republican Calendar. All images come from the collection of the Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs.