Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Silk Ball Gown

Rare 1820s Raspberry Silk Ball Gown

Evening dresses of the 1820s were decorated with all types of fancy borders including rouleaux, the bands of bias cut fabric stuffed with wool or cotton that would provide additional body and shape at the hemline. In addition the hemline is decorated with a pinked silk ruffle above the rouleaux and above that a scalloped flounce accented with satin appliques that appear to be flower buds about to open. The dress has a slightly empire waistline with the bodice fitted with a series of three vertical darts on both sides of the bust.

The neckline is rounded and set off by delicate hand made lace and satin trim. The satin is carried around the neckline and extends in layered "petals" across the puffed short sleeves. Each petal is edged in lace and the sleeves are decorated with the same bud shapes and scalloped edging as is found at the hemline. Back closure with hooks and eyes. The sleeves are lined with a fine silk gauze that is deteriorated but this is not noticeable when on display.

The condition of this gown is remarkable! There is no shattering of the silk and only a few minor holes about the size of a pencil eraser are noted, a couple of which have been backed with tiny pieces of matching silk. There are also a few scattered and minor organic discolorations of the silk which do not detract and should not be unexpected on a piece of this age. Faint crescents of underarm discoloration are also present but again, do not detract. No noted weakness or deterioration of the fabric other than noted.

Rare 1820s Raspberry Silk Ball Gown

Taken from

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