Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1890's Ball Gown

From the seller:

This is a stunning two piece black velvet gown with jet beading from about 1895. The bodice, which features very wide sleeves, has beading along the front edge, neckline, and at the cuffs. It's lined with calico, is boned, closes in front with jet buttons and also 6 crocheted buttons.
The skirt, which is very heavy, has a flat front and sides. The back section has heavy cartridge pleating which has been turned over to give a bustle silhouette. The waistband is cotton overlaid with silk, there are two separate tabs inside the skirt at the back that fasten with hooks and eyes. The silk on the waistband is in poor shape, the cotton underneath has one tear. The pleated section in back has an unlined silk waistband at the top which is in poor shape and would need to be replaced. Both waistbands have some metal buttons.
The back of the skirt is lined with silk and interlined with brown cheesecloth, and there are two tapes to hold and shape the skirt. There is a pleated cheesecloth ruffle at the hem which is trimmed with black lace. The hem is also reinforced.
The front of the skirt has what remains of a cheesecloth lining, this should be removed. Some of the ruffled cheesecloth lining remains, and the hem is also reinforced here.
The bodice has a 33" bust, 27" waist, it's 12" between the shoulder seams, it's about 30" at the sleeves' widest point. The skirt is 26 1/2" around at the waist, is 41" long in front, 55" in back to the end of the train. Please note that these are outside measurements.
Very good overall, with some color loss to the right side of the bodice in the form of small streaks. The sleeves are lighter than the rest of the outfit. I believe this is from fading, as the undersleeves are a little darker, but it seems to give something of an interesting effect. A few of the beads in the front are missing, 3 of the six crocheted buttons are damaged. Underarms are good.
The damage to the skirt waistbands and lining have already been described. There might be a few spots with some color loss to the skirt, the velvet is generally very good. An impressive outfit that would make a great display with some work to the waistbands.

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