Friday, October 24, 2014

Edwardian Bloomers and Corset Cover

From the seller:

From France... Lovely c.1900 fine cotton batiste bloomers and matching camisole. Great fancy late 19th century bloomers, petticoats and sets are getting harder to find! so this set consisting on a pair of bloomers and camisole, in such perfect condition, with its great quality and feminine design, is a real treasure found.

Lingerie from the Belle Époque is treasured by the collector for its romantic nostalgia. This was a period of extravagance in dress, and upper class under garments were often more elaborately detailed than street dress.

If you are a regular visitor to Time for Tea Antiques & Eccentricities, you know of my passion and high opinion of fine tailoring, embroidery, design and, of course, lace: all major art forms. I have a special affection for the pristine purity of whitework and beautiful laces. Without the enhancement of color, a whitework and lace design depends solely on creative combinations of texture.

These seductive bloomers and camisole occupy one end of a wide range of informal wear known as déshabillé ("undress"). Such exquisite garments were meant for an audience of one: the wearer's husband or most intimate friend.

What makes this set so appealing?

First, the alluring bloomers are finely made from fine white cotton batiste, have a beautiful shaped waistline, very wide and full legs, flared hem borders embellished of alternating fine Valenciennes lace at the botton hem and a lovely embroidered eyelet with broderie anglaise lace insert. Wide baby blue silk ribbons are threaded through the embroidered slits on the full legs, so they would be gathered in to form a most beautiful flounce. Tiny elaborate vertical pintucks (3 rows) back and front of the drawers over the lace band.

The bloomers cinch at centre back with two original tape ties and closes with 2 mother of pearl buttons at both sides of the waist.

1 slit center front to adjust with 1 button to the petticoat.

The condition is Excellent to Mint. Strong and Clean. Wonderful, crisp, ready to wear. The blue silk ribbons have replaced the original ones because they were fraying.

Measures: Waist: 36"; Leg width approx.: 16" (doubled, 30-32"); Length: 26".

The camisole is delicious as well. It is made from the same soft and comfortable white fine cotton, it is trimmed with delicate lace and a lovely eyelet with broderie anglaise. Blue silk ribbons are threaded through the embroidered slits. It has deep V-neckline and closes front with 2 fabric covered buttons.

Drawstring tapes to bring the waist in and a little peplum.
Elbow length sleeves trimmed at the edge with fancy Valenciennes lace for a sweet accent.

The condition is Excellent to Mint. Strong and Clean, Wonderful, crisp, ready to wear. The blue silk ribbons have replaced the original ones because they were fraying.

Measures: Shoulder to shoulder: 14 1/2"; Bust: 37 1/4"; Waist: 25 1/2"; Sleeve length: 12 1/2"; Lenght from shoulder seam to the bottom: 19"

This absolutely perfect and beautiful set would make any lady feel like a princess!

From Me:


These are hardly the creme de la creme of the underthings world - particularly from this era. The modern equivalent of these would be those boy short panties with a bit of lace at the cuff and a camisole with a bit of lace at the neckline so if your sweater is too low, no one will see anything immodest.

And these are most definitely NOT déshabillé. I really can't think of a way to stress that enough other than to say, would most people answer their door or have friends come in while sitting around in your bra and panties? The vast majority of people would at least put on a robe first. In the Edwardian era, they would do what their Victorian parents and grandparents did - ladies would receive visitors in a tea gown and men would receive visitors while wearing a smoking jacket. Besides that, déshabillé is a late 17th/early 18th C term for a particular type of fashion in France - not an early 20th c term.

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