From the seller:
This auction is for an original lady's dress from the Pre-Civil War period. It is made of shimmering aubergine silk taffeta. Features include dropped shoulders with piped armholes, waist and neck. The sleeves are particularly elegant. They're constructed in two pieces and curved, like a coat-sleeve, but start out narrow and widen, ike a pagoda sleeve! They're elegantly trimmed with multi-colored braid. The skirt has amazing cartridge pleating! The bodice is lined with brown cotton. This is a magnificent example of Pre-war design and a great addition to any collection! One photo shows how the dress would have looked in the evening under the light. Collar, embroidered cuffs and pin not included.
Condition: Some discoloration on the skirt and at the armholes along with a few missing buttons and some repairs including a long one around the hem.
Measurements are: The bust measures about 33 inches, The waist measures about 24 inches. The front length is about 41 inches.
|1856 Fashion Plate|
The slope of the shoulders and the shaping of the bodice are consistent with the mid 1850's. The pleats all the way around evenly is also very 1850's. By the American Civil War, the pleats started to be pushed more towards the back than the front; by the end of the war, you start to see dresses with flat fronts and a ton of pleats to the back and sides. It was to accommodate the elliptical shaped hoop rather than the bell hoops we are used to.
The sleeves are both earlier and later than 1856. I'm curious if the dress was redone later or created earlier than the mid 1850's.