Sunday, September 21, 2014

Regency Era Stays

From the seller:

An early and rare 1820’s cotton corset. It is all hand stitched. The front bust line has a gusset on each side. The hemline has four gussets, two in the front and two at the back. The corset has bone eyeholes for lacing. They are designed in a unique manner, instead of being placed into the cotton fabric they are held in place along the edge with multiple rows of looped thread. The corset is in crisp and clean condition. There is one very small pea size surface only hole on the edge of the hemline and one ¼ inch split near the front seam line. There are four missing bone eyeholes and just the threads remain. A great addition to an early textile collection. Bust 30 Waist 28.

From Me:

I love the bone eyelets/rings/insert your name for them here. I've never seen those attached to the outside edge of stays like that before. Normally, they appear either sewn in, as part of an eyelet, or they are rings attached about half an inch in from the lacing edge.


  1. I've never seen anything like it, either. Plus there seems to be no boning down the center back panels. These stays were not meant for tight lacing. ;-)

    From the measurements, maybe a "plump" teenager's first stays?

    I recently read a Victorian article that claimed any waist over 26" was considered "stout".

    1. The Regency era didn't really get into the tight lacing much. It was much more a mid to late Victorian thing. I think this was just a small cupped lady's stays. The measurements actually would fit a couple of my friends. :-)

  2. There's an early 19th century corset in the collection of the MET which has rings attached to the CB in the same or a similar way, take a look:

    (If the link doesn't work, try searching for "corsets"; it's accession number 1970.106.5)