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This is a rare and extraordinary collection of items that have been kept together. The cabinet card shows a young lady wearing the beautiful two piece chocolate bustle gown with rows of pleated fabric in the skirt, panels of patterned velvet on the skirt and bodice and a matching watch pocket. An ancestor of the original owner, M. Maude Williams, is said to have worn the gown for her marriage to John R. Bracken in Steubenville, Ohio in 1902. Maybe the gown was reworked for this event.
It is rare to find items such as these that have stayed together. It is of interest that the gown worn by the original owner does not have the lower buttons of the jacket closed making it possible that she may have been expecting a child. Maybe it was the current fashion? The gown is in very good condition, with two buttons missing and the skirt missing its fastener. One of the inner bustle ties needs to be tacked back on.
This item appears in the book, “How the Watch was Worn – A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 113.
Bust: ~ 32"
Waist: ~ 24"
Length at front of bodice: ~ 20"
Length of skirt: ~ 39"