Sunday, January 10, 2016

1830's Cream Colored Silk Dress

From the seller:

A beautiful 1830’s candlelight satin wedding dress that has been de-accessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The dress is all hand stitched. The bodice bust line is designed with rows of pleating and is padded. The short sleeves have piping at the top and bottom hemline. The neckline and waist are also piped. The bodice is lined with cotton and has a back hook and eye closure. The skirt is unlined except for a band of cotton at the edge of the hemline. The dress is in excellent condition. There is no underarm discoloration. There are a few pencil tip size holes in the skirt. Bust 29 Waist 20 ½ Skirt length 36 ½.

From Me:

From what I can find, this was originally listed on the museum website as 1830s, American or European. Metropolitan Museum of Arts accession no. C.I.46.82.19a, b.

This was an evening dress and probably not a wedding dress. (Dearest sellers, just because it's off white or white doesn't make it a wedding dress!) Actually, given the measurements, I'm guessing this might be a young girl's Confirmation gown. The skirt is short (normal length with be around 40" if not longer) and the measurements are tiny even by their standards. Both boys and girls were required to wear white (sometimes some red) for Confirmation pre Vatican II. Since this normally happens at the age of 12/13, the measurements make perfect sense for Confirmation.


  1. With those sleeves, I am having a very hard time believing that is 1830's. My first thought was, oh what a nice 1840's dress!

    1. The large sleeves that are typically associated with the 1830's really ran from about 1825 to 1836 is. Once you hit 1838, you see a lot of ruffles on the sleeves but little in the way of large sleeves - some full sleeves but nothing as ridiculous as seen earlier.

      some examples from the 1830's that show a more fitted sleeve:

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