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Bustle Ball Gown, ca. 1886-1888
A stunning 1880s evening dress or ball gown in near perfect condition. Two pieces, in a rich gold satin with metallic embroidered details. The bodice is classic 1880s evening wear - fitted and boned, tapering to long points at the front and back. The neckline is a low v, with a drawstring. At the back the bodice fastens with two hooks and lacing. At centre front is a panel of delicate pleated tulle, edged on either side with a mesh frill, cut with a scalloped edge and embroidered in metallic gold foliage. The frill runs up to form pleated ruffles at the shoulders, then down the back, where there is more tulle either side of the fastening. Sleeves are short and made in the satin, with ruffled sheer overlay. The skirt has a layered construction - a cotton underskirt with satin over. The front has a net overlay, embroidered all over with small metallic leaves, with an elaborate, swirling foliate design at the hem in gleaming gold. The back is pleated to form the full bustle, the pleats being held in place with stitches, and forms a long rounded train. Underneath is a pleated satin frill at the hem, and the train has a stiff pleated buckram dust ruffle, edged with hand made lace. There are internal bustle ties. A mix of hand and machine sewing. Excellent condition, even the delicate tulle is in good condition. There is very slight wear. The skirt has a couple of tiny holes, about 2mm, and at the ends of the points on the back of the bodice there are tiny holes. Some barely noticeable small marks. The eye for the top hook is missing. Replaced lacing. The decoration is not included.
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Waist: ~ 57 cm
Bust: ~ 85 cm
Front Length: ~ 125 cm
Back Length: ~ 200 cm