Beloved mid 18th Century dress in Georgian yellow
I have written a detailed Blog about this dress. The Blog is entitled 'Take Two Gowns'. It is important that you read it, as well as the condition report below, before you purchase.
This wonderful piece has lots of under-lying staining, but somehow the glorious sunshine Georgian yellow glows through. I have been looking for a dress of this colour for a very long time.
When I started to examine it, there were hand stitched tucks and folds to the front and the bodice ended in points, but as soon as I began to gently unpick them, the true shape of the front with robings started to emerge. I could then see how many similarities it has with the dress shown in Nancy Bradfields 'Costume in Detail' [see Blog for full reference], from the Snowshill Manor Collection, and dating to c1750. Now, it does have other amendments, but I think this approximate date is accurate. Which makes it around 260 years old!
Can you imagine being a lady in the circa 1750's? Ordering the silk, telling her tailor how it should look, knowing that the silk cost so much more than the tailors fees, so instructing him to construct the gown so that it could be dismantled for cleaning and possibly altered in 5 or 10 years time? Can you imagine how the lady in her dress glowed in the candle light? My goodness. This is why I love my work so very much!
Most unusually, the dress still has it's amazing sleeve trimmings of 'pinking' & scalloping. The pinking was done with a stamp - it must have been razor sharp! But even better, she still has the matching fabric engageantes. Despite being a classic of the mid 1740's right through to the mid 1770's, I have never examined them before. Rare in my experience.
For a detailed description of her, it is essential to read the blog.
A couple of notes:
a] My mannequin is a touch too large for her so the bodice fronts should be closer together. She would be worn with a stomacher and petticoat, with an apron over that. The muslin pieces I have used are not of the correct period and not included in this sale. See Bradfield pages 17/18 for the comparison.
b] Royal Mail tracked and signed for international service only includes insurance up to a maximum of £250.00. If you want full insurance the shipping price will be significantly higher than quoted here. Please contact me for a quote.
This is an important section to read before purchase.
My beloved dress has many underlying stains, as well as some obvious stains. I would go as far as to say she is rather grubby! However, the yellow somehow shines through most of it. There are also some small but annoying black stains that could be boot polish. These are most noticeable at one of the sleeve ruffles and a little at the end of one of the robings.
The silk is amazingly strong for such great age. I think this is because it has been woven very closely. There is one line of stitching around 14" above the skirt hem, which is where I think the lining may have been removed. Along this line are a series of splits, very difficult to see but a weakness in the whole piece.
Underarms are stained, making the fabric darker and crinkled, but the fabric has not split.
There are lots of pin holes especially around the robings [ remember that pins were often used to attach, for example, the stomacher].
At some point, the sleeves were removed and made wider. If you look at the sleeve tops, which are hidden underneath the robings, they have been replaced with raw edges! Only to the tops.
There is a length of skirt seam that has been opened - I think someone wanted to have a 'pretend' pocket slit! Very easy to hand sew closed.
There are other small flaws but I have covered the biggest here. The main issue is the staining. Either you will love her with the stains, or you will not buy!