Saturday, December 23, 2017

Swiss Folk Costume Bodice 1830s (?)

From the seller:

Extremely rare 18th. Century Stay Corset European probably France. it's made out of silk, cotton, wood or whale bone baleen. it's still in a very good condition considering its gage, at the edge there is a small piece broken or missing from the baleen however hardly noticeable.
The beading embroidery with very tiny black beads all over makes this a very unique piece, the beading could be have added later, I am not sure about that, the piece itself has been confirmed from the 18th Century.
There are only a few offered on the market. it's a treasure for the real collector.

From Me:

I can easily see why the seller thought this was 18th C - parts of it might be. The fabric does look a bit older than the ribbon and the decorations on it. It does have some aspects that are similar to this pair of stays from the 1790s. However, it's actually a part of a Swiss folk costume.

19th Century Swiss Folk Dress

The silver lacing holes in the image were an addition in the late 1860s. The style of the Swiss Folk costume became fashion in the 1860s and made famous by Empress Sissi.

The style of this one suggests it's a bit earlier than the 1860s. It has hand bound lacing holes, the style of the stays themselves are very similar to the late 18th stays, and the ribbon style is late Regency/early Romantic Era in design.  My guess is about 1830s but it's hard to tell with the folk costumes.
18(1)9? Ribbons


  1. To be fair it could be German, Northern Italian or Austrian too. The movement for this kind of throw back folk costume, now referred to in Germany and Austria as Dirndl, was widespread. Almost every village had its own style. My mother in law was an expert and I have inherited some of her resources. It's fascinating. I have one book that just documents the Dirndl of the Tirol and has about 60 variations just from there some of which look like this.

    Well done for spotting what this is! Very astute of you....

    These costumes just feel like an anachronistic mix don't they?

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