Monday, October 24, 2011
18th Century Precious Little's Girls Gown
From the seller:
If you have never bought 18th Century items before, this little gown is probably not for you. It is very, very fragile.
I adore it, of course!
Now, the citrine yellow silk is just a pure 18th Century give away to any Georgian collector. This colour has never been reproduced exactly to my knowledge!
It is very difficult to research the 18th Century baby gown, apart from newborn babies. So few remain. But I think this gown might be the first half of the century, because it is described so well in Cunnington & Buck*
' The first frocks changed very little during the first half of the Century. They had a round or square neck revealing the frilled edge of the shirt; the sleeves ended at the elbow, usually with a turn back cuff, with the frill of the shirt sleeve showing beneath. The bodice was close fitting, and the full skirt was seamed onto it at the waist......a back opening was was probably the most general and sashes were worn.'
Well, here you are. This dear little piece is open to the back, with a deeply curved front bodice in the shape of a stomacher. The skirt is heavily pleated onto the curve of the bodice waist.
The elbow length sleeves are seamed as if to be turn back, but I suspect they were once overlaid with lace.
The cut of the frock is Georgian in every respect!
Of course, there is a slit for the pocket, which would have been hidden under the gown. Only one slit, I have the most wonderful little tale of a baby who would not go to bed without his [single] pocket, which I will tell on my other Georgian baby gown listed seperately.
Very fragile, with repairs done far later, but all by hand and easy to remove for renovation if you wish.
Overall gentle discolouration and some splits still left.
Original silk lining, very deep to the skirt, also with some splitting but rather good for age.
Absolutely no renovation that would offend the true Georgian collector, no trace of machine stitching or similar horrors! Evidence of removed tucks to the skirt.
Evidence that the frock was made from an even earlier piece! Probably mummy's silk gown!
Now, it is lovely to see the remains of one waist tie. However, the neck ties are gone, leaving a hole. I am happy to send an antique ribbon which is almost identical, so that you can sew this to make ties at the neck.
Don't forget that she needs a big and splendid waist sash [although I couldn't possibly cover that curved waistline!]
Please don't forget that this garment is extremely fragile and very far from perfect. I don't mind what it sells for but you MUST adore it!
Refunds happily given if returned in the same condition as sent.
The chest of my baby mannequin is approx 23".
'Childrens Costume in England 1300-1900' Phillis Cunnington & Anne Buck. Adam & Charles Black. 1965
'The Art of Dress' Jane Ashelford. The National Trust. 1996.
There are so many reason why I love this gown. First, it's 18th Century. Second, it's such a bright vibrant color. Third, it's pieced! So many of us are told in the historical costuming world that "piecing is period" but it's rare to find a surviving example where the piecing is so pronounced. The shoulders, the sleeves -every part of the bodice seams to be from left overs from Mom's gown. It's wonderful!
I'm putting this in the 1780's for now. The lack of a point or curved down at the waist would suggest a more transitional style. There are a few children's gowns from the 1780's in museums that have the same overall cut -elbow sleeves and no point/rounding at the front of the waistline.