Monday, August 24, 2015

Silk 18th Century Stays With Pink Binding

From the seller:

Circa 18THC, a cream silk brocade corset or stays with polychrome florals and ties .
In mainly strong condition, there is wear and splitting, but overall good and strong.
All items we list need to be cleaned.

From Me:

The Pragmatic Costumer already did an excellent write up on these stays with her own interpretation of why there are stays inside the stays. My interpretation is slightly different - based on the fact that not only was it widened but lengthened as well.  (Particularly in the front.  If you look right under the old front of the stays, the tabs suddenly get longer although the cut up of about an inch or so doesn't change).

My interpretation is this: I know I'm not the only one who sees all those hand sewn channels and their fingers hurt. Just like us today, our ancestors did take shortcuts. The simplest of which is to get some second hand stays (second hand items were a BIG business) and lengthen them, widen them, recover them, and you have a new set of stays.

What I find most interesting is the lack of boning channels in the front.  There are the ones near the opening of the recovered stays and that's it until you get to the older stays.  The tabs were added all the way around and not just at the sides/back.  The squared off tabs, rather than rounded, do seem to fit a 1770's date.

Based on what I was able to find out, the original MET acquisition number was C.I.41.124.59.

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