Sunday, May 29, 2016

Late 1860's Dress remade later in the Edwardian Era

From the seller:


Offering an exceptional late 1870's lady's gown plaid silk taffeta 2 piece gown, machine sewn and hand sewn.

A fetching 1870’s era brown, black, cream and dark tan plaid silk 2 piece gown. The bodice is piped at armscyes at drop shoulder. The bodice is lined with brown cotton and the skirt is lined with a polish brown cotton. Bodice has original front hook and loop closures sewn in inner material closure, as well as front closure using fabric covered buttons. The long slender fitted arms are flared with pagoda sleeves. The inside bodice has no stays and back is embellished with a peplum. The skirt is embellished with three rows of black velvet trim at hem line.

CONDITION: The gown is in good for study condition. There is underarm discoloration stains on inside lining only and no damage in the fabric on both armscyes. Brown silk trim are complete and not missing, some need to be reattached.

The skirt is in very fair/good condition. Would look fuller with a large hoop.
The fabric is rich and supple. Wear top edges of bottom hem as well as scattered holes and splits in skirt as shown in photos. Some splitting of fabric on waist band of skirt.


BODICE: Bust 30", Waist 23", Sleeve length 17-1/2", Length from shoulder to front hem 57-1/2", Shoulders across back 14", Neck to bottom of bodice 20"

SKIRT: Waist 35", Length of skirt 41", Circumference 131".

In good, presentable condition and a great display gown for study or display. A beautiful display only 2 piece gown.

A superb hard to come by dress of 140+ years of graceful life.

This is a wonderful piece to add to an early collection.

From Me:

The entire problem with this dress is that it doesn't match. Why is the bodice edged in brown silk ribbon and the skirt has three rows of black velvet? Why is there no brown silk on the skirt and now black velvet on the bodice? Why does the skirt look like it doesn't have a bustle when the bodice clearly does?

I believe it's because someone took the material from the original matching skirt and remade it at a later date - most likely Edwardian or a bit later based on the trim placement and the cut of the skirt. The bodice would be impossible to rework at that point to the current styles and rather pointless as well - just wear a shirtwaist with a black velvet sash around the waist and it would look fine.

1869 Fashion Plate

As you can tell in the fashion plate, there would have been a LOT more material in the skirt than we see here. However, the bodice looks right for about this era. The skirt as is though, looks more like this below:

1908 Fashion Plate

See the lady with the jacket on the left? Notice that she has a couple of tiers of black velvet around the hem of her skirt. The widths are also similar as are the pleats. Someone probably just took Mom's old dress and remade it almost exactly 40 years later. See? Vintage is nothing new.

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