Almost a “Wow.”

This lovely dress was originally going to be a Weekend Wow because the first image I saw was of the bodice detail. Unfortunately, the remaining photographs are not well-lit and the background it was photographed against washes out the colors even further. Such a shame. But it’s still too pretty not to share.

Note: The Kent State University Museum site states the dress is “18th C style” and that’s how it’s being described on Pinterest. I was baffled, since the design is classic 1840’s. However, the original catalog card states it was made of 18th century silk, not that it’s 18th century style. 5 demerits for such a whopping error.

1840-1849. American, attributed. 18th C style, silk brocaded with ribbon stripes and garlands, and flowers in blue, red and mauve, wide neck, cap sleeves, V front, full skirt (originally separate). Belt: trimmed with repeated bows.

Original catalog card: 1840s, Brocade evening dress of 18th C. silk. The silk ground of grey-green patterned with vertical ”ribbon” stripes of pink with weaving garlands of leaves and flowers in blue, red, and mauve. The bodice (A) with wide scoop neck, cap sleeves and high waist with V front. The skirt pleated into the bodice with a slight train (B). The belt of same brocade pleated and trimmed with repeated bows at center.

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4 thoughts on “Almost a “Wow.”

  1. I wonder if it’s just the display or not but in the last bodice back picture, the sleeve and bertha on the left seem smaller than on the right.

    • They are definitely asymmetrical. The sleeves look fairly even from the front – it looks as if the bottom of the left back is tucked up a bit and needs to be pulled out. The bertha is more of a mystery because the tucks/pleats are not even from left to right. At first I thought it might have been done on purpose if the wearer had some twist or unevenness in her shoulders or upper back. But if that were the case I think the dressmaker would have adjusted the bertha’s design to make it look symmetrical if at all possible. So it may very well be the display. It would be interesting to see it in person and get a closer look.

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