Thursday, December 31, 2015
Real or Costume? 1870's Natural Form
From the seller:
This is a stunning example of a high quality 1880's Victorian 2 piece gown made in Paris by Elisa Mery who had a shop at 48 Rue Caumartin. It has exquisite workmanship and fascinating details.
The fabric is of superb quality and in super condition. The jacket and band on the hem of the skirt are made of a lusciously rich lilac silk satin. The skirt and draping is made out of a coordinating lilac silk brocade accented with a floral design in shades of cream, brown and gold.
The sleeves and bodice are accented with bands of hand-embroidered flowers and leaves in the same colors as the brocade pattern.
The interior of the bodice shows the high-quality workmanship that went into creating this spectacular gown: myriad bones, hand-cast seams, fabric covered weights at the center back hem, tiny, handsewn eyelets and thread loops.
The poor rich lady who wore this must have looked amazing but it couldn't have been comfortable. All those bones would have kept her from slumping, slouching, bending and probably breathing and the corseted front insured she didn't get in or out of this quickly.
I just love the draping and pleated accent on the back of the skirt. A classic design of this era. The draping was lined with a wool challis and I guess the moths enjoyed a snack here and there. Happily they left the silk intact.
The garment is in fabulous condition considering its age, but there are a few spots, slight staining under the arms as well as a few scattered pulls in the fabric. The hem is soiled--as one would expect--and the length may have been altered at some time because the hand stitching is done in red thread. Luckily this doesn't show on the outside.
Happily, the gown is in wearable condition and unlike the majority of women from this era, the owner was a substantially built woman, particularly in the bust area.
Bust: 42" Waist: 28" The hip area is ample since the skirt is pleated. Length from Waist to hem: 41"
A fabulous garment like this doesn't come up for sale often. Make this the newest addition to your antique clothing collection.
Looking at the skirt, I only have this going through my mind:
...Because it's on backwards. ;-)
Anyway, at first blush, I thought this was a costume. The embroidery and the materials look pretty modern. However, look at the inside. Not only does it still have the waist belt, the way the fabric is cut is very Victorian in nature. Notice the rounded, finished seams?
Given the length of the bodice and the narrowness of the skirt, this is late 1870's.
Happy New Year's Eve everyone!!!!