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Help dating 1800s dress

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by BrookeNault, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Hi all,
    I purchased a Victorian dress which was marketed to me as pre-Civil war.
    However, she looks more like an 1880s natural form princess dress to me.
    The interior is fully lined with glazed cotton, no boning. On both interior sides of low skirt, there are three triangular shaped cutouts that have 'lace' extensions to be tied. What would this have been used for as it's not in the center back where a bustle could possibly be.
    I'd love to hear if I'm in the right ballpark.
    Thank you!
    Brooke
     

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  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    It's late 1870s - hard to be sure without it being properly mounted or handling, but I think 1878. Not sure what the three triangular cutouts you are talking about - can you provide a closeup?
    c26d1031d1b267d7ae605c84cc0e9e54.jpg
     
  3. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thanks Jonathan! That advertisement looks very similar especially with the low bow on the backside with the pleating and fringe. I'll send a picture tomorrow of the cutouts with the extended laces. I'd love to find out more about what their purpose is.
     
  4. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    What a gorgeous dress. I love the pattern and the colors. Hard to know what the laces are for, without seeing them. Perhaps they were tied together from either side, all ties meeting in back and hiding under the bustle back. This would give the skirt the required slender or skinny silhouette and adjust it to the wearer's liking while allowing ease of getting into(and out of) it. ???
     
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  5. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Hi all and thank you for your responses! Jonathan and Barbara I've added pics of the ties and interior of dress. The ties are on both sides of the center back part. If dating around 1878, would this have been shown with a bustle of sorts?Also, the skirt did have a lace trim along hemline but it was badly torn.
     

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  6. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    I see - yes, those ties are to pull the back of the skirt together which also brings the front of the skirt closer to the legs to create that lobster tail shape.
     
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  7. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  8. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you! Would a bustle have been used in the back then?
     
  9. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    I think I answered my own question - it appears this period of time would not have used a bustle rather it would have let the tie back create a natural bustle back. :)
     
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    There were lower lobster-tail like cage bustle cages worn in the late 1870s, and for a formal reception dress like yours, I think it would be worn with one. Housedresses would just use petticoats that gathered at the back and maybe a small bum pad bustle, but I suspect yours would be worn over something like this:
    8a62ffb43c77ce7689716178f72bf170--lobster-tails-the-lobster.jpg
     
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  11. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Your dress is very similar to one in the FHM collection:
    Unknown-7.jpeg
     
  12. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you so much Jonathan!
     
  13. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    I re-did some of the pictures and it definitely makes a difference using those ties. Thank you again - wish I had the bustle cage to show off the back a bit more though.
     

    Attached Files:

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