Monday, July 20, 2015

1870's Bustle Dress

From the seller:

A gorgeous, estate-found vintage late nineteenth century (we believe to be circa 1880s) ladies two-piece maroon/deep burgundy wine velvet & satin two-piece dress consisting of a bustle skirt and matching top – in as-found condition, in need of some restoration. The material is lovely, and strong – the rich velvet has 4-1/2” high x 3” wide raised/embossed fleur-de-lis cartouches against a patterned field, also embossed/raised. There is a vertically pleated satin front panel on the skirt and a 7” wide finely pleated ruffled band around the hem. Measurements: the top measures 13” across the top shoulder seams x 18” long (top of the collar to the bottom on the front), 26” long in the back, with an approximate 23” waist (11-1/2” wide across the front – there is an 11-1/4” long satin ecru ribbon belt with hook built into the waistband of the top). The three-quarter length sleeves are 12” long from the inseam with a 7-1/2”-8” wide wrist opening. The skirt measures about 39” long in the front x 51” long in the back, the width of the skirt is about 35” at the hemline (did no measure the back due to the dip in the train/bustle. All sizes are approximate.

Condition: Offered in as-is/as-found estate condition. This is an heirloom gown/dress stored in a trunk in an attic for well over a hundred years. The family was wealthy. That said, as stated previously the material is strong but is coming apart on the seams and will need restoration. The silk waistband in the skirt has considerable wear – is threadbare and will need to be replaced. The threads holding the gathered bustle are loose separated on the left side, the right side of the gathered bustle has been loosely (unprofessionally) re-tacked years ago with some pulling to the selvedge end of the material near the hip area. The satin ruffles on the pleated hemline are wrinkled but have no staining & no discernible wear. The inside lining of the skirt has numerous tears (most at the top under the waistband). Top: thirteen covered buttons down the front, one is missing (under the satin bow at the bust line). There do not seem to be any underarm stains, there is some light pinkish/maroon staining on the ecru lining on inside of the top between the shoulder blades and some on the inside (left facing) flap – neither are structural and neither go through to the back side. This is a very high quality gown (in our humble opinion!) – note the tiny hand-sewn stitches on the cut/raw ends of the vertical velvet seams flanking the stays, a nice touch which allowed the seams to lay flat and not fray. A really beautiful Victorian gown in need of professional restoration to but it back together correctly. The material is strong, there do not seem to be any wear/low spots on the velvet (we are unsure if this patterned velvet is called cut velvet or velvet brocade?) but it definitely needs a waistband, the lining addressed, and to be reassembled/re-sewn/re-tacked on the seams & bustle. No strong odors, just needs a light airing out as it has been stored, probably since the nineteenth century. Please see the numerous photos for details & specifics.

The dress is fresh from the attic of a local brick Georgian mansion, the estate” Kingston Hall”, located in Somerset County on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. (We listed numerous items of Georgian & Victorian clothing from this same estate, many with New York and Paris receipts).

From Me:

At the Met 1875

Although we typically associate the 1870's with the elongated bodices, there were some shorter bodices as shown with the plaid dress in the fashion plate above. Based on the sleeve shape, length, and the front decorations of this outfit, I'm putting it in the 1870's.

The aqua dress also has a slightly shorter than normal bodice

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