Monday, May 13, 2013

Mid 1860's Dress (poss. remade from an 1850's dress)

From the seller:

This auction is for an original girl's fantasy ball gown from the Antebellum period. Its fabric is a fascinating silk gauze windowpane weave. Its delicate color and fabric embody the delicacy of youth. It almost floats on the air like a bubble! The dress is trimmed on the skirt with 5 wide tucks and the sleeves correspond. It closes at center back with its original hooks and eyes. My favorite detail is the tiny pink silk ribbon used to bind the hem! I have shown the dress displayed in the last photo with an original tulle bertha and cameo to visually underline its great display potential. Neither are included in the auction.

Condition is structurally fair to good. It is strong enough to be displayed very carefully. There is obvious damage to the sheer fabric as well as some color variation. It doesn't distract terribly when viewed from a short distance. There is a dark spot on the silk low down on the left side. I tried to get a photo, but there's a shadow over it. Look closely.

There have been some conservation techniques applied to this dress including reattaching the skirt to the bodice and reconstructing sleeves from the original silk and new cotton lining. Also, spare silk from the inside waist was used to patch in on the shoulders. This is visible if you zoom in on the closeup of the bodice.

Measurements are: The bust is 33 inches & the bodice waist measures 22 inches. The length of the skirt is 38 inches.

From Me:

With a 22" waist and a 33" Bust, you aren't talking about a child but a young lady or a petite woman. The waistline indicates this is later than the 1850's - most likely the very tail end of the American Civil War. The skirt wasn't envogue at that point but it would work for something to wear when there is a parade of all the soldiers returning home. ;-)

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