Late Victorian cotton lawn skirt dating to circa 1897 or 1898 features a stunning art nouveau print of sinuous foliage and tiny stylized flowers, in cream and gold on a mulberry ground.
Cut straight in front, the skirt dips to a slight train in back, where it is gathered into curved pleats over the hips and closes with two brass hooks-and-eyes. It is lined in pearl grey glazed muslin, and the hem is bound at the bottom edge with a strip of lilac braid.
Presumably once part of a 2 piece dress, the skirt would have been worn with the matching waist or bodice styled with the fashionable high collar and gently shoulder-puffed long sleeves of the late 1890s. It is a wonderful—and unusual—example of a typically late Victorian silhouette but in a textile reflecting the bold new art movement that ushered in modernism as well as a new century.
The skirt has a 1 1/8" waistband and measures 25" around the waist, 40" down the front center, and 44" down the back center.
Good condition; the skirt displays well, with the fabric sturdy and free of any tears, though it has several tea colored stains well-camouflaged by the print (photo #6) and gentle color fade to the waist band and at the sides. There is minor discoloration to the glazed muslin lining, and a section of the lining under the hip flounce has been replaced with a slightly darker shade of fabric; I am unsure whether this was a period repair or restoration work by the museum that deaccessioned this piece.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild