From the seller:
This lovely dress is Victorian and possibly as early as the Civil War era. It is made from heavy black satin with pink stripes bordered by black velvety stripes. The top has dropped shoulders with billowy sleeves; the stripes were fashioned diagonally in an artistic fashion on the bodice. As you can see, the collar and upper bodice were made of pink silk covered with black gauzy fabric. The top fastens up the front with hook and eyes (and 1 snap possibly added later) while the collar fastens in the back. The skirt also fastens in the back with hook and eyes. There are 2 little self poufs on the front as decoration.
The top measures 17" long with a 14" neck and a 26" waist, while the sleeves measure about 20". The skirt has a 26" waist but measures a huge 144" around the bottom. It isn't gathered, rather the material was taken in in what looks like darts as it moved toward the top, amazing really. It is lined with black polished cotton with a black ruffle around the inside bottom.
As far as condition, there is some splitting under the right arm, and there is some wear around the top of the collar and the waist band of the skirt. It appears that someone sewed the front together after it was on them as I see some loose black threads. I also note that the very bottom in back was wet at one time and there is a small water stain and wear to the fabric. However on the whole the dress is in super shape and with a little care and TLC I believe it could be worn; it is very beautiful.
One of my lovely readers, Karla, sent this one to my attention. ...And yes, I started to giggle as soon as I read when the seller thought this was from. American Civil War? Really?
Instead, the whole puffy bottom half of the sleeve thing (and high neck!) was very popular circa 1902/1903:
|1902 Fashion Plate|
Also, even the way it's sewn is so very indicative of the early Edwardian era - the raw seams on the inside and the boning in the bodice - the silk lining rather than the typical brown cotton we see with American Civil War gowns. Then there is the skirt. There is no way you could fit an 1860's crinoline under that thing. It looks like it would just fit a human pair of hips and a petticoat at the hip line. Also, the skirt is gored.