Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1870's (?) Outfit

From the seller:

This auction is for a heavily embellished woman's Victorian 2 piece milk chocolate brown wool challis gown dress. The bodice is the highlight of the ensemble; fully buckram lined, lots of detailing including short narrow tucks and pleats on the shoulders and chest in the front and a lovely pattern of the same in the full back, fabulous 3/4" chenille trim that looks like brown beaver fur and very lovely robins egg blue silk braided and fringe, piped armycyes, full front hook / eye closure, 2 1/2" long trim and 3/4" bobbin style lace mandarin collar. The 6 - 3/4" buttons are worth mentioning all by themselves, copper like metal with applied Moon and Stars that are delicate filigree and faceted steel beads. The sleeves are a give away of the era, at first they appear to be similar to pagoda. This stunning bodice is in overall good condition, a well down period repair in the back and and some short slits in the back and sleeves and this is easily repairable. The skirt has been reworked apparently during a different recent time ( i do not believe the bodice has been touched) it still has a bunted back with wider pleats and the hemline border is wide tuck pleats. A new waistband has been added. There is some repairs and a long opening. Although a knowledgeable collector will most likely be able to use the skirt, I am only including the skirt as an addition, the bodice is the great part of this auction. Approx measurements are taken laying flat, closed and across; 15" shoulder seam to seam, 17" underarm to underarm, 13" waist and 21" front mid shoulder to hem. A lovely display piece and magnificent study piece. I feel just the rare and fabulous trim and buttons are perfect if you are creating a new Victorian ensemble.

From Me:

For now, I'm putting this in the "real" category and not the "costume" category. It does look like it was repaired at some point recently. However, the overall style is consistent with the 1870's.


  1. "fully buckram lined". I can only hope that's a typo because that would be worse than a corset and fully boned bodice combined. :O
    But I agree, the crazy color combinations are so period.

    1. I'm sure the seller just meant that it was interlined with something and not actually lined in horsehair. ;-)

  2. I have a feeling that one of the "browns" on this dress wasn't originally a brown, but a bright dye that faded. The blue fringe looks newer, but without actually seeing it in person, I can't tell. The back of the bodice is absolutely lovely, however!