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Special Occasion

Ecru Moire Ballgown

The ball gown and matching jacket from the 1860's are beautifully fashioned from ecru moiré silk. The simplicity of design combined with the rich elegant fabric create a stunning outfit.

The boned bodice is lined with polished cotton and has narrow corded piping around the edges and the armhole seams. It laces up the back - the original laces are missing. So feminine and figure flattering. Satin ribbons decorate the sleeves of the dress. The jacket is trimmed with ruffles made from scalloped satin ribbon.

It measures: 34" bust, 25" waist, 20" jacket sleeve length to the point, 25" from the shoulder to the front jacket hem, and 55" from the shoulder to the dress hem.

Late 1850's Gold Moire Ballgown

C. 1850's ballgown of yellow moire trimmed with exquisite chantilly black lace trim and silk fringe.

The bodice is lined with white cotton and is boned. It hook and eyes up the back. It is low-necked and is trimmed with chantilly lace and silk fringe on the sides of the bodice and on the sleeves. There is a graceful fall of chantilly lace from the ends of the sleeves. It looks like it was once two pieces and sewn into one.

The skirt features two bands of silk fringe and a band of black lace at the lower band. This illusion of flounces was popular at the time.

It is majestic and in a hard to find color!

Majestic Civil War Era Two Piece Dress

blockquote>A marvelous classic circa 1865 lady's two piece golden russet colored silk faille dress.

The stayed bodice is lined with a tan polished cotton, has front darts, a hook and eye inner cinch waistband and eight original fancy metal buttons at the front closure. Piped at the neck, drop shoulders, waist and cuff hems. A center seam V back construction with a deep split tail.

The wonderful full pagoda sleeves are lined and faced in a white silk. A divine ruched fringed silk trim is accented with a loose weave gimp with black dots. Bow accents at the sleeves.

The full trained skirt is lined in polished cotton, has a box pleated waistband and a side hook and eye closure, a side slit pocket and a twill tape floorbrush.

A wonderful Civil War era circa 1865 dress, from the late part of the war.

Civil War Era Wedding Gown

This is an amazing 2 piece “cafe au lait” colored silk dress from the Civil War Era, perhaps a wedding dress(?).

The bodice is boned with 10 stays and is fully lined in polished cotton. The center front of the bodice is “laced” with a silk cord (decorative only as it is covered over on the inside with a strip of silk) through 24 sets of tiny handstitched eyelets. The neckline is square and is trimmed with ruching of the same silk with a narrow band of cream colored silk in the center. The shoulders are slightly dropped and piped.

The sleeves are a bell or pagoda type and are also decorated with ruching. The bottom portion of the sleeves are lined with cream colored silk and there is ruching of the same.(What a lot of time went into making this dress)!

The bodice laces down the back through 31 sets of tiny eyelets (the lace itself is missing). There are perspiration marks under the arms but these do not really show when the dress is displayed and the silk is not deteriorated.

The skirt is cartridge pleated in the back only and is very full, measuring 155” at the bottom. The waistband originally had two sets of hooks & eyes, only one is remaining.

The entire skirt is lined with polished cotton and the front of the skirt also has a 15” wide band of light canvas at the hem--there is evidence that this once went all the way around but has been removed fron the back portion. The “hem saver” has also been removed there as well. The skirt is designed to have a straight hem in the front and a more rounded hem in the back to give the effect of a short train. The measurements on the skirt are waist 22”, front length 42” and back length 45”.

1860's Wedding Gown

Wedding Gown 1855 - 1860

Massachusetts, United States

Materials: Organdy, silk tulle, silk ribbon, muslin underbodice with eyelet embroidered lace, brass hooks & eyes.

Measurements: Shoulder - sh 13", bust, 34"; waist, 22"; shoulder-waist, 13"; skirt L , 43"; hem circumference, 186".

Comments: One piece wedding gown closes up the front of bodice. Left side of skirt from waistband down has a finished 10 1/2" opening, most probably to access a hidden brides pocket. Wedding gown is quite elegant in it's simplicity.

2 pc. Organdy Wedding Gown

A classic circa 1850 lady's two piece wedding dress of a white off the shoulder cotton foundation.

The bodice is whalebone stayed at the front and back. Overlaid in a honeycomb net with a ruched and pointed front creating a wonderful fan effect. Piped at the neckline, armscyes and hem.

Cotton half sleeves and netted oversleeves with upper arms of tiered lace and slightly flared cuffs trimmed in lace. A lace trimming along the neckline of the underbodice.

The fully gathered skirt is overlaid in organdy, lined in polished cotton and faced in cotton with a velvet floor brush. A hook and eye closure at the back of the bodice and skirt.

"Of Mary Moore Stoterbury (sp), donor _____ _____" is penned inside the bodice. Strong, clean and presentable, a good mid 19th century wedding dress.

Striped Wedding Dress

Wedding Gown, c. 1850's

United States, New Braintree, Massachusetts

Materials: Roller printed wool challis, brass and glass cuff buttons, brass hooks and eyes, unbleached cotton lining.

Provenance: Undocumented. It is said to have been last worn in 1856 by Elizabeth Thompson (1837 - 1917) on her wedding day in New Braintree, MA.

A 1" tuck in the skirt midway between the waist and hem and an expertly done piece (3/4" deep) has been added to the bottom back of the bodice.

Measurements: Shoulders, 15 1/2", bust, 37"; waist, 28"; shoulder-waist, 13 1/2"; sleeve L, 25"; skirt L , 40"; hem circumference, 118".

Comments: I believe this dress belonged to someone else before Elizabeth wore it on her wedding day. This dress was made in the early - mid 1840's. Perhaps, for whatever reason, there wasn't enough time for Elizabeth to have a dress made for her 1856 wedding. The workmanship is superb, and the materials very expensive in their day. The skirt is gauged and attached to the bodice. There is a finished opening (bride pocket) in the right center front.

Either cane or baleen boning is inserted at the center front closure and the whole perimeter of the bodice is piped. The challis fabric itself is in extraordinary condition. Similar fabric and style are described by Otto Thieme in Simply Stunning(p.33) "As early as June 1838, fashion journals described a new-style bodice of striped fabric cut on the cross "so as to make the stripes meet down the front (in a "V")." The next year, the journals heralded the new printed wools displaying stripes of strong dark colors in solids and "Eastern patterns, as Cashmere stripes, Persian palms, and 'a ramages perses!'."

Maternity Dress, c. 1865

United States

Materials: Cotton flannel gingham, silk gingham, velvet ribbon, steel hook and eyes, cotton twill lining (skirt), cotton flour sacks lining (bodice).

Label: Part of printing on flour sack lining reads: Love. Wheat. Flour. Creek, PA. Miller.

Measurements: Shoulders, 22"; bodice L 14 1/2"; bust, 41"; waist, 35"; Slv. L, 22"; skirt L, 46 1/2"; hem C, 138".

Comments: An extremely rare piece entirely hand sewn by an excellent seamstress. This is a fascinating garment for many reasons:

1860's 3 Piece Faille Maternity Dress

Rare 1860's 3 Piece Faille Maternity Dress A very fine and elusive post Civil War three piece lady's maternity ensemble. Absolutely lovely! A very pretty printed pattern of white roses within green medallions with sprigs scattered among them.

The long fitted tunic has a four shell button front closure that is opened from above the waistline down. A classic V back construction, modified coak sleeves and trimmed at the collar, cuffs and hem with bands of decorated gimp. A small lace edge to the collar.

The bell shaped skirt has a slightly longer back with a centered back pleat and a box pleated waistband. The very full front has a center closure from the waistband 10" down to allow for growth during a pregnancy. The remaining front buttons are decorative only.

The second bodice is a traditional 1860's fitted O style with gaging at the front waistband and the center of the back. Lined in white cotton with a hook and eye and shell button closure. Piped at the drop shoulders and waist with coak sleeves trimmed with gimp.

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