This is a most interesting and intriguing Regency gown from early in the 19th century. It is of taupe (sage green to brown) colour and is in one piece with an unusual bodice. The gown has the high waist of the era. The bodice and skirt close in various stages. The bodice, which is lined most likely with sarcenet, has a flap on each side of this lining, which folds over to cover the bosom. The top of the skirt has a gathering ribbon and slits in the upper side seams and then gathers up over the top of the bodice lining to tie inside at the back. Two flaps of the main taupe silk then fold over to complete the covering of the bodice and are secured with top and bottom gathering tied with ribbon, the top one being of brown silk. The arms seem to be quite long but when worn these would have been gathered upwards to fit. A suggestion has been made that this type of gown may have been used by a nursing mother to provide easy access for feeding a baby. The finished effect is totally consistent with the high-waisted gowns of the era. The sequence of photographs shows what we believe is the order for putting this gown together. At some stage in its life, it lived in Lambertville, New Jersey. The condition is good for age although there are small scattered pinholes in the fabric which can only be seen when the gown is held up to light. The hem for the skirt tie needs to be re-secured. Please note that the jewellery and ribbon at waist shown in one image are not included. Underarm to underarm approximately 18 ins (45.7cm). Length from back of neck to hem 49.5 ins (125.7cm). 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 46.
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