This is an extraordinary and beautiful gown and spencer of the Regency period in a subtle mid-green with the faint suggestion of slightly paler stripes. The workmanship is superb in this hand-stitched ensemble. The colour and fabrics match and the spencer has additional trimming of paler satin incorporated into the bows, bands and lapel of the garment. Both items are lined with brown polished cotton (the gown only part-lined for the bodice) and the spencer is boned. The gown has the high waistline of the era and its most decorative feature is the rows of intricate petals on the sleeves. The skirt is mainly composed of boxed pleats with gathering at the back to give extra fullness. The bodice and skirt close with a series of hooks and eyes with additional hooks and eyes at the wrist. The spencer has a wide lapel of satin and closes at the front with hooks and eyes and beautiful self-fabric covered buttons. The sleeves are extraordinary with bows near the shoulder seam which are very detailed. At the bottom of the sleeves there are two satin bands and a narrow edging of lace at the ends. The spencer is in nearly perfect condition with a perspiration mark under one arm. Several of the bands and the lapel need some reattachments. The gown shows underarm perspiration marks and there is an early darned repair under the right arm and a 2cm split in the fabric. There are some scattered pinholes and small stains compatible with age. This is a gown and spencer more for display than to wear and when the spencer is placed over the gown it is quite a tight fit due to the petal decoration on the gown. It would look at its best with the two components displayed separately giving an entrancing view of a most elegant outfit of the Regency period. If worn, care would be needed, and these two items would be of great interest to those involved with Jane Austen re-enactments. This really is an outfit to be treasured. Please note than any jewellery and accessories featured in the images are not included. 22" waist, 30" bust, 16" shoulder to shoulder, 22" sleeve length, 42" skirt length. This item appears in my book, “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 52.
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