Monday, November 18, 2013

American Civil War Era Dress

From the seller:

This elegant one piece silk gown dates to the late 1860’s, shortly after the Civil War. The fabric is a reversible or changeable silk taffeta in gold/light blue. Even after almost 150 years, it is still a head turner! The bodice is a mix of hand and treadle machine sewing and is fully lined with both white and brown polished cottons which are holding up well. The bodice retains the 8 original cream color silk/net buttons which close the center front. The sleeves feature shoulder caps of gathered silk and have been decorated at the cuffs with silk lace. The back is adorned with a large same silk bow at the waist which has been edged with cream color silk trim. The skirt section is almost entirely hand sewn and is lined at the hem with a band of polished cotton which goes up about 15 inches. All in all, a very striking piece which is in very solid condition, both silk and lining. There are no rips or tears and NO splitting or shattering of the silk. Sadly however there are some areas of discoloration which look to have been caused by water; these can be seen in our photos. There are about 6-7 of these areas which range in size from an inch in diameter to about 7” for the largest. The worst areas are near the hem. Despite these flaws, this gown still displays beautifully as can be seen in our photos and is a nice example of the transition period of the late 1860’s-early 1870’s. Please note that we do not endorse any attempt to wear garments of this great age and therefore provide the following measurements for reference purposes only. Bust 30”, Waist 24”, Front Length 53”, Back Length 69” and Hem Circumference of 176”. We are always happy to answer questions so please ask them before bidding.

From Me:

I think it's probably earlier than the seller claims. The sleeve style was popular during the Civil War. Probably more around 1863/1864. Also, if it were later, you'd expect to see the raised waistline.

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