Friday, April 24, 2015
Romantic Era Stays
From the seller:
These are two handmade early 19th century corsets belonging to Amanda M. Ferry. The Ferry's lived in N. Conway, in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
The first corset, shown on the form, is made of a crisp, medium weight cotton, perhaps meant for the spring and summer months. There is a signature near the top in front: "A M Ferry, No. 7". It has bone grommets, a slot for a busk. cording around the grommets. The second is made of a heavier, more substantial homespun style cotton, this one perhaps for wear in colder weather. It has thread grommets, a busk slot, a faint signature at the bottom, "Amanda M Ferry". There could also be a number given below this, as in the first corset, it's very faint, however. I would date these to about 1840, looking at the slightly "spoon" shaped waist.
Both corsets were made for a very small young lady. The first corset, the lighter cotton, measures 25 3/8" around the bust, 21 3/8" around at the waist, it's 15 3/4" long in front. The second, heavier corset is 27" around at the bust, 22" at the waist, it's 15" long in front.
Both corsets are strong, with no holes or weak areas. The heavier one has medium overall foxing, or discoloration. The lighter is still crisp, but also has overall light age or storage discoloration. The laces are replacements.
You start to see the rounded front (rather than straight across the hips) as early as the 1820's. I think the one on the hanger is maybe 1820's/1830's. It's hard to tell, honestly. The one on the dress form is definitely 1840's though - those shoulder straps!