Thursday, May 21, 2015

1840's Fan Front Silk Dress

From the seller:

This is a very lovely original antique 1840's early Victorian dress gown. The silk taffeta fabric has a gold and black very fine thin stripe pattern. The dress is all hand stitched. The bodice has a fan pleated front and short cap sleeves over the longer sleeve. The neck, shoulders, waist, cap sleeve and inner seam on the sleeves are all piped. The bodice is lined with brown cotton buckram along with a built in camisole that has front hooks and eyes along with 4 bone ? stays. There is a back hook and eye closure. The skirt is completely lined with matching to the bodice buckram. The waist is created with gads of very tight cartridge pleats, a possibility of a waist alteration and if it was an alteration it would definitely be a period one; it could be restitched to create a larger waist and torso. The short sleeves are adorned with beautiful hand created black floral lace.
The gown is in good and sturdy condition. There are circles of organic marks at the underarms; a seam opening at an underarm. In the front lower skirt, there is an area of 4 spots with the largest being the size of a quarter coin- in the back is a spot the size of a dime coin - because they fold into the wide flowing full skirt both areas are difficult to find. Some of the piping has wear and there is minimum wear along the hem at the wool binding, near the hem there is two short slits. The overall issues are not as severe as they may sound, this dress will display beautifully and although I do not condone it, if neccessary it could be worn for a short time w/out a lot of activity such as dancing. Bust 34 Waist 26 Skirt length 42 in front and 44 in back. Width at hemline 126. Truly a magnificent example of the era. I have added a photo of the gown being shown with an original 1830 /1840 white work embroidered cape, the cape is NOT included.

From Me:

Stripes! Although this style isn't that great on a hanger so to speak, it does look flattering on most figures. The fan front brings the eye to the center waist, making most ladies look smaller at the waist line area and broader at the shoulders/bust area.

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