Sunday, July 9, 2017

Natural Form Era Wedding Gown

From the seller:


This is an attractive reception gown of the 1880's period, that a mid to upper class woman would wear. A regal ivory/cream satin having gold and cream metallic floral brocade panel 1 PIECE in construction bustled trained gown. Together with the gown original pair of silk shoes.

Recently de-accessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  New York , New York.
Shadows or light on fabric is just sunshine spots.

The bodice is lined with tan cotton and fabric covered stays.  Has some small underarm damage and discoloration only on inside lining.  Bodice lining is very good.  Bodice  has some shredding on arms and front. One cuff needs to be reattached. Petersham and waist band has a stamped previous owners name "Mrs. H. Rhodes, Providence, R.I.

The skirt closes by hooks and loops at the back and gathers with pleats in the back for a nice fall. Two side aprons, rear puff and kick pleats at hem line accents the skirt nicely. The waist band has some damage. Back of the skirt has a seam opening of 2" opening at waist band, any easy fix. Some small rips in the folds of the train. This can be tucked to conceal. 
The skirt is lined with a cream polished cotton and gauze.   Lining of skirt and train is in good condition. The skirt's brocade material is in very good condition, except for a brown stain that is pictured.
The silk shoes are in poor condition with the silk having started to shred on the toes and heels.
Condition: The gown is in fair to good condition. 
BODICE:  Bust 29-1/2",Waist 21", Sleeve Length 10-1/2"
Shoulder to waist 18",
Across shoulder 12"   Shoulder  to front hemline  55"
SKIRT: Front skirt length 38-1/2" Back length 100", waist 21" .

From Me:

1876 Fashion Plate

This is from the late First Bustle/early Natural Form era. The Met appeared to have a few gowns that looked like this and they are all listed as "1870s".  Based on the colors, the style, the materials, and the fact there are matching shoes saved with this dress, I'm pretty sure it was a wedding gown.


  1. Drool, drool! But I'm soooo glad I don't have to wear the corset that produced that tiny waist!!!

    1. This was one tiny woman. However, there are stories of ladies with 18" waists. O_0....

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