Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Regency Era Button Back Dress
From the seller:
This is a really exquisite dress dating from about 1815. It is of pale coffee silk with cream trim. The high waist is in the style of the day, it has long sleeves and back fastening. The skirt falls from the high waist and is generously gathered at the back. The hem, sleeves and shoulders are trimmed with delightful padded "cushions". The bodice is lined in beige cotton/linen.
The highlight of this lovely dress is the fine hand.pleating on the back bodice.Narrow hand worked pleats which must have taken hours of difficult sewing. In addition to this, there are the original tiny buttons and buttonholes, all beautifully worked. Delightful!
This lovely dress is in very good condition. There is very slight fading to part of the skirt and one sleeve,but this is only visible in certain lights. The silk reflects, so the fading is not a great problem. There is one very small hole at the back waist. The under-arms are good. Just a little creased from wear, but no shattering of the silk or bad marks. The bodice lining is slightly marksed from wear, but in keeping with the age, and having been worn.
I cannot detect any obvious alterations. All in all a beautiful dress and very much "of the era". Strong silk and no weaknesses that I can detect.
Measurements: Length from shoulder to hem 56". High waist approx. 28". Across shoulders 13"
I think this dress was reworked several times. There are elements of a couple of different decades. The back pleating is very 1790's. The extreme high waistline is 1800's. However, the roped hem and the puffy decorations on the dress are more in keeping with the late 1810's/early 1820's. There is one from about 1819 in the Met with similar decorations and looks to have a corded hem. I'm putting this in the 1810's but know it could have easily been worn in the early 1820's as well.