Monday, May 25, 2015
Regency Era Bra
From the seller:
This is a very rare corset or very early brassiere, dating from the first third of the 19th century. In a wrap around style, the front has gathered bust inserts, there is a slit at one side to thread one of the ties through. It's curved at the bottom in front. The ties, which are supposed to fasten in front, are too small for the mannequin.
It's entirely hand stitched, and has an opening at the top for a busk. The only similar garment I could find is in the Kyoto museum, where it is referred to as a "bra", theirs in two pieces, also wrapping around the high waist.
Very good condition, with some narrow streaks in front, some light brownish areas at one of the ties, a few other minor, age-related spots here and there, slight fray to the slit at the side. There are a few stitches taken at the top, probably to reinforce the seam where the busk poked through a bit. The color is a pleasing "homespun" tan/brown, best shown in the first and last pictures, without any green or reddish tones that might appear in the other pics. 1820-30.
The ones the seller talks about from Kyoto are here.
This extant one reminds me, vaugely, of the Lengberg Castle bra find from a couple of years ago based on the way the cups are placed. Because of the style, the cross over back, and it's uniqueness, I believe this from the late 1790's/early 1800's. (ie, late Transition period).