Thursday, September 17, 2015

1860's Fringe Dress Previously Owned by the MET

From the seller:

A stunning 1860’s celery green silk dress that has been de-accessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The fabric has a changeable quality with a strong gold undertone. The bodice is decorated with yellow velvet bands and gold silk fringe. The bodice is lined with cotton and has a front button closure. The skirt has a very long back sweep and the hemline is trimmed with light gold braided cording. The skirt is fully lined with cotton. The dress is in good display condition. There are small scattered splits on the yoke area of the bodice front and back. (See photos.) The bodice has small circles of underarm discoloration and some of the trim is loose and will need minor re-stitching. The skirt waistband has been replaced and there are a few scattered age spots on the skirt. The largest one is on the front of the skirt and measures 4 inches. This can be seen in the photos. The rest are smaller and mostly along the edge of the hemline. There are no splits or holes in the skirt. Bust 34 Waist 28 Front skirt length 44 back length 67

From Me: looks taupe to me....

Anyway, I actually found this one! Here's the original photo:

...still looks taupe.

According to what I have been able to find out, the Met had this up on their website until last year. They listed it as a dress from 1863 and I have no idea why. Nothing about it says 1863 to me - it screams 1865. Fashion really did change that quickly back then - unlike today when you can get away with things that are downright vintage and be fashionable.

One of the big reasons why I think it's 1865 and not 1863 is that basque waist. Although there were coats that came down over the hips in 1863, it wasn't fashionable for bodices until after the American Civil War.

1865 Fashion Plate
Notice that the blue bodice in the fashion plate above has the same lines as the extant one.  The fashion plate is from June 1865 (the American Civil War ended in April 1865).     So....1865 for this one.

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