This is a magnificent two piece polonaise style bustle gown of golden floral silk brocade trimmed in deep ecru French lace. The very long bodice is largely lined and boned (four) and fastens at the front with thirteen mother-of-pearl buttons with hand-worked buttonholes. The neckline is decorated with a pleated fringed silk trim and there is a decorative watch pocket at the waist. The bodice has a draped and bunted bustle with a small internal bustle pad. The sleeves end with wide gathered lace trim. The skirt consists of an upper section of lined deep ecru silk taffeta and at the waist has a replaced waistband through which passes a tape for gathering. A further opening has eyes but no hooks. This section is completely covered by the bodice when assembled. The lower section of the skirt is of the same silk taffeta with a pleated deep hem at the bottom and is completely covered with gathered lace. The total effect is both charming and elegant. The gown is in very good condition for age. The silk taffeta has various splits and stains and wear to the hemline but these are not visible when displayed. The bodice is in good condition with minimal underarm staining on the lining and splits to the lining especially at the neckline, but the brocade is in good condition. Overall, the lace is in very good condition for age but there are scattered small splits which do not really detract from the presentation of the gown. Considering the fragility of the lace, this is a gown best used for display or study but it could possibly be worn with care - this was apparently once a museum acquisition. The jewellery visible in a couple of the images is not included. Bust 34", Waist 26", Shoulder to front hem 56". Please note that this lovely item has been in storage, so once shipped it may still retain a whiff of mothballs. This should settle with airing. This item appears in my book, “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 111.
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