Monday, August 24, 2015

Bustle Era Ball Gown

From the seller::

A opulent 1880’s warped floral print silk moire bustle ball gown that has recently bee de-accessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection. The fabric has a red, pink and mauve floral pattern on an ivory background. The flowers are surrounded by green and mauve leaves. The bodice has floral printed silk ribbon shoulder straps. The bodice is boned and lined with cotton. It has a back lacing closure but the lacing is missing. The front panel on the skirt has rows of self fabric ruffles. The skirt has a back train and ties on the inside for adjusting the bustle effect. The hemline is trimmed with a self fabric ruffle. The skirt is partly lined with cotton and buckram. The dress is in very good and sturdy condition. There is mild underarm discoloration, three splits in the shoulder straps that can easily be repaired. The skirt has a 3 inch split near the side waist and there is some minor fraying at the back waist area. The rest of the fabric is in very sturdy condition. Bust 34 Waist 26 Front skirt length 40 Back length 53

From Me:

I think this was originally an 1850's ball gown that was remade in the 1870's. The fabric screams 1850's to me as well as the neckline detailing on the bodice. Florals were a huge thing in the 1850's. And yes, florals tend to be popular in a lot of various decades (remember Laura Ashley in the 1990's?) but this specific water silk type floral is sort of to the 1850's what avocado is to the 1970's.


  1. I am 100% in love with this gown!

    1. It is a very interesting piece! I'd love to find out who owned it - I'm sure the MET keeps those records but I'd have no idea how to find out about the deaccessioning of the dress.