Friday, September 16, 2011

Late 1860's/early 1870's dress

From the seller:

I had originally purchased this magnificent Civl War era ballgown about 10 years ago and had it displayed on a mannequin in the bedroom. At the time I had paid a small fortune for it but it is now time to let it go to a new home. You are bidding on an authentic circa 1850-1860 Civil War era 2-piece silk ballgown. The pattern on the watered silk is so charming! This pattern consists of pink and pale pink blossoms scattered throughout against an ivory background.

The scoopy neck off the shoulder bodice is boned and attaches in the back with orig. large hook and eyes. Bodice is lined in ivory satin. Delicate lace surrounds the neckline and hangs from the end of sleeves. At the center of neckline a decorative hanging bow is tied between the lace. There is a center bodice panel of beige satin with a crochet lace overlay. The bottom hem of the bodice ends in squared off flaps - similar to a 17th century costume. Pale pink rosettes hold up folds of lace around the neckline and end of sleeves (see closeup).

The floor-length skirt consists of a built-in hoop skirt! There are 4 bendable hoops sewn into the skirt. Skirt closes with more large hook and eyes and like the bodice, is also lined in an ivory satin. Around exterior border of skirt is a decorative ruffle pattern trimmed in crochet lace (see closeup). Underneath the skirt around the hem there are two 9" width panels of delicate crochet lace (also see closeup). Not sure why there is so much decoration around interior hem of skirt - but I would imagine another hoopskirt would be added underneath this one to add even more fullness.

Gown is a generous size Medium - bust 36"; waist up to 32" and hips free. Length of skirt is approx. 41" and length of bodice is approx. 17". The bodice condition is very good. One part of lace around neckline hangs down and needs a few stitches to reattach back to neckline. Otherwise, I saw very little problems here - the silk is still strong and the lining looks nice.

The skirt, however, is another story. It was also in very good condition when I first purchased it - but through the years the silk has badly deteriorated and has shattered in many places. The silk is very fragile on this skirt - even a gentle folding to pack may produce more tears. I have tried to show these tears with a closeup - at this time the damage is somewhat confined toward the top of skirt and it is on one side only - the other side is ok. From the center to bottom of skirt there is minimal damage (some tearing in silk at bottom hem can be seen in pic) - but the skirt is overall still quite presentable to display - one can always turn the damaged area toward the wall. The construction of skirt is in good shape as is the interior which is also lined in satin. It appears a small section of this satin was replaced at one time. There is also some typical age related staining at hem and faintly seen on the interior.

From Me:

She's at least 10 years off and I suspect that it's actually 1870's. It's hard to tell with the hoop but the design of the trim on the bottom of the skirt was very popular in the late 1860's into the 1870's. The way the bodice is tabbed also came into vouge around that era.

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