Thursday, March 24, 2016

Regency Era Stays

From the seller:

Early Bodice from Central Europe

Late 18th early 19th century

Central Europe - Bohemia (?)

Amazing fully boned semi-rigid body with the inscription "24491 pure and in Prague 18.. Deep brown Damask, whale's baleen whale (?) and piped edge of kid skin cream. Partially covered with Brocade with Gold Ribbon. Lacing on the front eyelets and transverse bracket using two buttons. Cream linen lining. Very good condition of conservation.

Dimensions: height 25 cm, height 34 cm, bust 83 cm behind front.

Positive points:

Very beautiful piece of the civil suit by the end of the 18th century and in good condition considering its age. Structure and impeccable condition!

Negative Points:

A slight patina is present. The lining is dusty and has small spots by location. Otherwise good condition no hole or accident!

More information to

From Me:

There is a lot going for the 18th century date besides the shape. Yes, this is a folk bodice style - however, there is the fabric. The trim is nearly sterotypical for the 18th century. You can see a similar but wider one on this men's outfit at the Kyoto Costume Institute and a similar one fore sale here. The style of trim also shows up here in this painting, this painting shows scalloped edges<\a>, this is a redone pillow made with 18th century fabric and trims, more scalloped gold trim, and here. Actually, this style gold trim on vestments is very, very popular in the 18th century.

The fabric too is very 18th century. I wish I could remember the museum I was at where I saw a similar print to this but in green. It was in the past few months which means it was either somewhere in DC or in NYC.... If anyone finds it, let me know.

The back tabs are done in a different fabric, meaning they would have been hidden - again, very 1790's. Also, it looks like a museum previously dated this to the 18th century based on the writing on the inside... So, 1790's it is!


  1. It's fascinatingly similar to this glimpse of a folk costume bodice from Central Bohemia in the collections of the Czech National Museum: - that one is dated to the first half of the 19th century. However old this one is, it definitely looks like Central Bohemian styles of folk costume bodices, which did preserve the late 18th century shape.
    This one is dated to 1880s: - although that may be just the date of acquisition.
    This one's 1840s, which I'm inclined to believe:

    1. P.S. That golden buttoned tab would have been used to keep down the corners of a triangular (or square-folded-in-half) kerchief worn fichu-style.

      And I'd forgotten that there are TWO such in their collections: - unfortunately, from both all we can see are these details.