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Bicycle-Outfit, ca. 1898

antique cycling outfit 1898 1 antique cycling outfit 1898

Exceptionally rare bicycle ensemble or outfit from the late Victorian era, circa 1898. Cycling was affordable only to middle-class socialites at the end of the 19th century. The first women on bikes came from wealthy families and it was one of the only ways to escape the restrictive customs and traditions. It was a new freedom that was possible for women through the bicycle.

The ensemble we present here consists of a hat, jacket, bloomers and leather boots.

Women's straw hat, which was put on while riding a bicycle. The hat was fastened on the highly toupeed hair by means of hatpins. Small punctures can still be seen. Blue silk ribbon. The hat is in very good condition. Only the (inner) lining of the hat pot is tattered.

The cycling jacket is made of green woollen (?) fabric. Reinforced with stays on the inside. Waist band. Small puffed sleeves typical of the late 1890s. Front closure by means of buttons. Long sleeves. Very well preserved. The brooch is not included.

The bicycle pants are made of a green and blue striped fabric that is a bit stiff and scratchy. The pants reflect the green of the jacket and the blue of the hat. Good to very good condition. One small missing piece in the waistband of the pants. Closure of the trousers is missing. Minor wear marks. The cords to close the pants below the knee are only partially present.

The boots are made of brown leather. They show more obvious signs of age and wear.

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