Thursday, March 24, 2016

Regency Era Bodice Redone in the Victorian Era

From the seller:

This auction is for an original lady's ball gown bodice from the Empire period. It is made of black China silk. It is trimmed with fine black cotton net ruching and silk covered wooden buttons. It is lined with brown 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 is a separate decorative front which covers the lining. The remains of the open-robe style skirt are still present at the high waist. There's a good bit of it at the back, so you can really see how it was pleated. Internally, you can see there is 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 is still mostly present. Originally purchased from England.

Condition: The skirt was obviously cut away, There are tears to the silk, the tassels are missing from the cords. the underarms have holes. Please see photos. The front piece has been stabilized with a bit of grosgrain ribbon and a snap. I have left them in place, as they aid in display.

Measurements are: The bust measures 34 inches, The high waist measures 30 inches. 6 inches across the back.

From Me:

It's the waist ties on the inside that give away the Victorian (maybe Edwardian?) destruction of this piece. I'm pretty sure they added the trims as well. Also, notice the tape along the inside front of the bodice with the snap? Yeah, snaps weren't invented until 1885.

So here's what I think it really looked like - it was a dress. The skirt was cut off at some point - notice that the back flap is just pinked so it was probably cut off when this was "remade". There wasn't any trim. The front flap may have actually been the "apron front" to the dress and just stitched to one side during the Victorian era.

It's a cute piece but there have been a lot of additions that don't make it great for study unless you know the eras really well.

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