Sunday, January 17, 2016

Late Victorian Ribbonwork Gown

From the seller:

Spectacular 1898-1900 Silk Ribbon Roses Ballgown Jay's Limited London: This phenomenal gown was made by Jay's Limited of London. The label: Jay's Limited Regent St. London W, By the Appointment to the Queen. Queen Victoria and then Queen Alexandra. He created Court Dresses, Presentation Dresses, Wedding Trousseau, Dinner - reception - Tea - Evening gowns etc. This gown was made for Mrs. George Megrew. Inside the bodice there is a label sewn. Private Collection D-1020, This came from the private collection of Patricia Norris who was a 6 times Oscar nominated costume designer. I bought part of Patricia's private collection from her daughter. This dress presents best from the back. It has many issues. The bodice: There is wear around the edges of the waist and the pleating. There are pin marks on the back left side from top to bottom. This dress had a grosgrain ribbon with heavy eyes on it, so that a smaller size woman could wear it. The lining over all is good with some splitting. It is original. The lace and ribbon work is in good condition. The original petersham was taken off and a heavy grosgrain ribbon was sewn in at the time Patricia used it. I have the original petersham with the label and the original customers name on it. It will be sent with the dress. The skirt is heavily worn in the front with pitting, holes, fraying and splitting at the top 5 inches. The sides are also heavily worn with pitting, less fraying and more splitting on the top 5 inches. See photos. The back is in the best condition. There is some splitting at the waist band and some wear but over all it is solid. The Ribbon work is in remarkable condition for its age. It has survived much better than the skirt fabric. The underskirt was replaced with pink taffeta when the dress was worn. The underskirt is well made. The original underskirt is splitting. We have it and will ship it with the dress. This dress is a work of art and a once in a lifetime opportunity to have an original Jay's garment. It is well worth conserving and saving for its fashion history. This dress would not be wearable. The bust is 38, the waist is 25, the skirt front length is 41.5 inches.

From Me:


Each of the above have something in common with this extant dress. Although none are perfect - it is by two different designers- one the sketches might have a similar sleeve or similar embroidery design, ect. However, the dress is from that late Victorian/turn of the Century era.

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It is really cool. It must have been dreamy back in it's day. Quite the statement dress even today!

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  2. I've never seen ribbonwork used quite like this - the self fabric, or at least ribbon closely matched to the fabric, makes for such an interesting effect. A bit like whitework embroidery, which is bar far my favorite kind of embroidery. I'd been thinking about embellishments vs. none for a 1900s evening dress project, and this just sparked major inspiration!

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