From the seller:
This auction is for an original lady's ball gown bodice from the Empire period. It is made of brown silk taffeta. It is trimmed with fine ivory colored silk ribbon at the sleeves and neckline. It is lined with off-white cotton. The back is very narrow and the front crosses over and is secured, presumably by sewing it back in the day. Here, I have pinned it closed. There would have been a separate decorative front which would have covered the lining. The remains of the open-robe style skirt are still present at the high waist. Internally, you can see there was a set of ties to help secure the dress to the figure like a petersham did in the Victorian period. On the outside, you can see the beautiful silk cord and tassels are still present. Originally purchased from England.
Condition: No significant damage. The skirt was obviously cut away.
Measurements are: The bust measures 34 inches, The high waist measures 27 inches. 8.5 inches across the back.
That waist tie again - so very Victorian/Edwardian. Also, the trim isn't period for the 1800's - but it is for the entire second half of the 19th century going well into the 20th century. The tassle rope was also added much later.
This was an apron front dress at some point in it's life.
|1802 Fashion Plate|