Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Antique Skirt out of 18th Century (?) Fabric

From the seller:

Beautiful pure silk brocade Civil War era gathered bustle dressy skirt!

Fabulous dressy antique skirt made for a bustle so it is a few inches longer at the back than the front, gathered full at the back and smooth in the front. Bottom edge has a hem deeply faced in cotton, but no extra silk fabric that would make the skirt longer if desired. Two pockets, one on either side, one sewn shut but could be opened again. Textile rustles like taffeta and may be a form of taffeta but it has a lovely woven-in design like a damask or brocade with colored small bouquets of flowers. Some of the sewing is by hand, some seems to be by machine, but must say it is likely a treadle type, stitching looks different than later machines. Skirt is a basic design often seen in 1800s clothing but the textile makes it very special, a pure silk that might be a Chinese import of the time in a color that is golden medium yellow on the beige side of the spectrum, just beautiful.
MEASURES about 40" long with a 28" waist, longer in the back by about 3-4".

CONDITION is good but there is damage consistent with age as follows: a few inches of separation of the back gathering from the waistband where it closes, several tears and some overall weakness in the textile, and also some soil and moisture marks at the bottom edges. These flaws are to be expected in a garment from the middle 1800s, skirt is still wearable with care and is certainly admirable for collecting and display.

From me:

This doesn't look like a bustle skirt to me but it may be the way it's hanging on the hanger. Rather, it looks like the skirt itself is made out of 18th C silk and was remade into the present skirt we see. I *think* it might be from the 1890's Fancy Dress outfit but I could easily see it as a theater piece from the 1940's as well. Other opinions are welcome as well!

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