Monday, February 25, 2013

1790's Transitional Stays

From the seller:

Vintage Victorian Corset

The vintage corset is made of heavy cotton

The hook and eye closure is down the back

There is a small slit in the front, top middle of corset
(See picture)

The hook is missing from the over piece that fits on the back where the hook was in a tiny hole

This corset has not been cleaned

For the age, I think the condition is very good

Underarm to underarm approx. 32"

Please ask any questions before bidding

I ship only in the USA

All items are sent with a tracking number

From Me:

Most definitely not Victorian. The "skirt" on the stays allows for the "puff" that was popular in the early Regency era. The stays are handsewn (look at the dime picture). It *looks* like silk and linen to me, not cotton. I love finding these transitional ones.


  1. I wouldn't be so quick to jump to the conclusion that things like this are from the period that the particular line would seem to indicate. There are many European ethnic and regional costumes that used traditional cuts long after they were out of use as fashion. I've seen bodices like this that belong to Swiss and Northern German costumes made as late as the 1920's, and they were indeed made of cotton sateen.

    1. Hello and welcome to my blog!

      Yes similar looking stays were used in Northern Europe throughout the 19th C. However, there are a couple of things pointing to these being earlier rather than later. A) the "skirt" -> you will see skirts such as this, with emphasis towards the back, or bumrolls on 1790's stays but not so much later on. b) The dip in the front -> yes the had them in traditional up until the early Victorian but that plus the skirt - which would need to be hidden beneath a petticoat suggest an earlier date.

    2. I will repeat what kennye said: features like this are retained in folk costumes for much longer. Plain fabric tabs, "skirts" and bumrolls often go under the skirts of folk costumes. The tab in the font of the bodice would also suggest a folk costume for me and the very decorative lacing that's not really lacing at all is another feature typical for later folk costumes. You can find bodices like that in Bohemia as well.
      An 1860s-1870s bodice from Litomyšl with a bumroll/skirt:
      Blata, cca 1850s, bumroll:
      Central Bohemia:
      Northern Bohemia:
      Skuteč - the top picture, it unfortunately doesn't embiggen like the others:
      Kouřim (Central Bohemia) - this one actually does date to late 18th century, but it's a bodice that would have been worn on the outside, not stays as a piece of underwear!
      These all come from local museums that would have acquired them right in the region where they come from and where the museum is. So hopefully that's enough for your future consideration.