Sunday, May 30, 2010

Corset, 1840

Circa 1837 - 1845. A rare set of transitional stays dating from the late Regency- early Victorian period. This set of stays or corset, depending on the wearer's knowledge of fashionable parlance, marks the transitional period between long soft bodied stays and the hourglass corset of the second half of the 19th century.The stays are made from white cotton drill and are lined in plain white cotton. The corset is entirely handmade with neat and even sewing using "back stitching" technique. Triangular gussets, which are typical in mid 19th century corsetry, are seen at the bust and the hips. The corset is not boned but has slots with "button holes" on the inside, in which to insert boning. There is a bone channel on the middle of each breast and in a "V" shape at the back. A wider channel is seen at the front of the corset to allow the wearer to insert a stiff wooden or bone busk. Having bone channels in which the boning could be inserted and removed at will, allowed the wearer to adjust the amount of stiffness in the corset according to the level of activity. It also allowed for easy laundering. Although this corset has a more pronounced hourglass shape than early 19th century long line stays had, it retains elements from the Regency era yet foreshadows the coming curvier Victorian styles. The body of the corset has a semi-elongated shape with the front skirt of the corset coming down below the abdomen, common for early 1800's stays. The actual indentation of the waist ends higher than natural waist level. The waist level on this corset sits just under the "V" points of the bust gussets, a waist level placement typical of late Regency stays, however, the flared bustline and pinched in waist gives the figure a curvier shape than earlier stays had. Measurements: Bust 33", Waist 23", Hips 28", Front busk length 13". ~

No comments:

Post a Comment