From the seller:
A graceful 1880’s black silk princess style bustle dress that has recently been de-accessioned from a major NY city museum collection. The cataloging tag is attached to the sleeve. The dress is lavishly decorated with a tab edging on the collar, sleeve cuffs and front panels. Each of the tabs are outlined with gold silk. The front of the skirt has two large ribbon ties. The upper portion of the skirt that does not show is lined with black challis fabric. The dress has a long back sweep. The bodice is lined with cotton. The dress has a front button closure. It is in very good condition. There is light underarm discoloration on the cotton lining, four missing buttons and scattered holes on the challis lining on the top of the skirt. Bust 32 Waist 23 Front skirt length 40 Back length 50.
I love the contrast of the piping on the seams and edges. Perhaps a half mourning gown?