RESERVED Rare 1850's straw work jacket for crinoline
RESERVED: Straw work embroidery is something rarely seen now, so this striking mourning jacket is really quite rare. Designed to fit beautifully over a wide crinoline skirt, there is no evidence of fastenings, so I think that there must have been a little bodice as well.
The jacket is lightweight silk with a high standing back collar of silk ribbon, decorated with straw work motifs surrounded by beads. From the neck, the centre front forms small lapels, followed by deep bands edged in ruched chiffon, the centres decorated with straw work and embroidered braiding.
From a tight waist, the jacket curves outwards and gently round, to form a basque, with a slightly pointed centre back. The basque would of course sit over the wide skirt.
The sleeves are magnificent! Huge pagoda's which measure 36" around the base! That is the same as a hip size! Fully silk lined, the pagoda's are split from the base to around elbow length, and cords are sewn into the gap, so that the undersleeves or gown could be glimpsed underneath.
The pagoda's are wonderful, but it is the fine straw work that makes it so rare.
The size is tiny; approximately 30" chest, although it looks fine on my 33" chest mannequin] waist 24", centre back 22.5".
Please be sure to read the condition report below.
There are two main issues to consider -
a] The jacket came with other costume that had all been stored together and they have a musty, antique smell. You can hang it outdoors on a breezy, dry day and store it with lavender bags to freshen.
b] Someone later added a wool type lining very neatly with hand stitches, on top of the original silk lining. As far as I can see, the original silk lining is in very good condition, so I can only presume that someone wanted to wear it in a cold place! The added wool lining has a single tear. I think it should be removed, but it is not essential.
Other than these two, there is minor splitting to some of the straw work & one end of the ribbon stand collar needs a stitch or two, but these are minor points.