Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lovely Fancy (?) Dress from the mid 1890's

From the seller:

This is a very rare pink silk faille ball gown from the 1830s. Provenance England.
Full puff gigot sleeves lined with muslin, low scooped neckline with bertha and pink bows on the shoulders. The bodice is fitted, with hook and eye closure up the back and two more pink bows at top closure. Full, pleated skirt. The bodice and hem of the skirt are lined with muslin. The ball gown is being sold in as-is fair condition, there are some areas of discoloration from age, several small frays and a few areas of stains on the front of the skirt. See pictures.
Measurements: 15" underarm to underarm, 13" across waist, 38" from waistband to bottom of skirt.

Please advise if you are bidding internationally; shipping charges will differ from below. I prefer payment within 3 days of auction close and ship 2 business days after receiving payment. Items come from a non-smoking home.

From Me:

Sorry, dear seller, but this is not from the 1830's. The sleeve style is very indicative of the mid 1890's (1894-1898) and the machine sewing is a dead giveaway of a later date. Although this may have been a fancy dress for the late Victorians (they were ALL over that!) and inspired by the earlier Romantic era, the dress itself has tons of tell tale 1890's signs. The hooks and eyes are styled from the late Victorian/early Edwardian period. Also, I have yet to come across a Romantic era dress with a Bertha collar like that. Still, it is a lovely piece.


  1. Funny, I saw this gown and thought the dating was off as well. Although I might debate the dating. The pleated bertha did show up in 1840's, the higher waist, and the gigot sleeves might also lend itself to support the 1840s. However, what threw me off was the fabric - silk. Very few of that era survive in such great condition outside a museum. I was thinking in might have been made early 20th century as a theater of movie costume. Sellers do not always know the provenance of the items they are selling. I still love the overall look and symmetry of this gown, dating not withstanding!

    1. Although you are correct, the Bertha collar did come into play in the 1840's, the machine stitching in the inside bodice shot is a dead give away for the 1890's. The sleeves and shoulder shape also lean more to the 1890's rather than an earlier Romantic era.