Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mid 19th Century Victorian Plaid Dress redone in the early 1860s

From the seller:

Antique 1850's 1860's Civil War Era Bright Sky Blue & White Plaid Silk & Fringe Hoop Skirt Dress w/Huge Pagoda Sleeves!

- Rare Excellent Condition w/Provenance! - Vibrant & Dressy w/Scallops & Lace!

Full description & condition below following photos: My dress form is a bit to large for the bust area of the dress, so the top doesn't close all the way up (it was really close & might have gone, but I didn't want to stress the fabric trying). - There is nothing wrong with the dress though and it would close all the way up the front with no problems on a dress form or display that was the proper size for it!


- Amazing 1850's to 1860's civil war era dress, done in a bright sky blue, black, and white silk that has a complex plaid print

- The bodice has a high neckline and small embroidered button closures down the front, along with a hand-made lace collar (not attached to dress but fits perfectly)

- Huge flared pagoda sleeves with wide scalloped edging and matching dark blue scalloped fringe trim at the shoulder caps and bottom of the sleeves

- Princess seaming through the front and back of bodice

- Skirt is heavily gathered around the waist and is quite full, to be worn over a hoop underskirt (shown displayed on a much smaller Victorian underslip)

- The inside of the bodice is fully lined with a natural colored mid-weight cotton, and has a provenance written in pencil that says "Belle - 1860's, From an Estate in Mass."

- All of the stitching for the entire dress is meticulously and expertly done by hand, and there's a neat pocket hidden in the cotton underskirt!

CONDITION: Excellent for a dress of this era and design - I'm always amazed when a dress of this era has such few flaws and is so wonderful! The silk is very strong, not brittle or shattering, but there are a few small horizontal tears at the underarm (about an inch or two long, no discoloration though)! There are a few smaller period repairs on the front, but they've been wonderfully done and blend so well with the plaid pattern as to be unnoticeable unless under scrutiny. There's a faint water spot on the right cap sleeve, close to the fringe trim (does not stick out or detract). There is a thin spot to the silk at the top of the left shoulder, but the thread and pattern is all intact so it's well camouflaged. The bottom button on the bodice needs to be properly re-attached (as someone has affixed it to the top placket instead of the bottom where the rest of the buttons are). The full cotton underskirt is as fresh and supple as new (amazing - there isn't even any wear to the silk hem)! I hope it doesn't sound like a lot, as these things are minor compared to the overall design and era of this wonderful dress - trust me when I say that it is vibrant and looks amazing in person, a rare display museum display piece!

As with any antique garment of this age, for the sake of preserving the garment, I do not recommend it to be worn, though I believe this one could be safely worn for short periods of time, such as for photography or modeling purposes, etc. (regardless, it is always recommended that you be as careful/gentle as possible, as even the most pristine garment of this age has inherent fragilities - please treat tenderly so it can survive another 100+ years)!

MEASUREMENTS (approx. size) -

Bust: 32 inches
Bodice Waist: 22 inches
Hips: full
Full Length: approx 51 inches


Neck: 12.5 inches
Bust: 34 inches
Waist: 21 inches
Hips: 38 inches

From Me:

1855 Fashion Plate

The dress looks like it was originally mid 1850's and had some slight edits in the early 1860's. I think it's a young miss dress as the skirt looks "short" to me. Still, it's a lovely dress!

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