#2019 $3,650 Sold
Satin brocade robe à la française, 1770s. The magnificent robe features compère bodice fronts, common in the late 18th century. They were more practical than a separate stomacher that had to be pinned into the robe when worn. The flowing back pleat took its name from the paintings of Watteau. Our regal robe is an important collectible that embodies high style fashion in the 1770s and 1780s. NEW LISTING
#2761 $2,250 Sold
Brocaded silk caraco-style jacket, c.1780. Before the French Revolution, jacket-style bodices were a popular alternative to the open robe. Made from plush brocaded silk damask and expertly pieced together to form perfect mirror images of the pattern in front and back, the style features an elongated lace-up front and a shapely pleated back peplum. What amazing condition for a piece from the days of Queen Marie Antoinette! NEW LISTING
#c423 $1,275 Reserved
Satin special occasion dress, late 1820s. The style is transitional from the slender Empire dresses of 1800-1820 to the fuller skirts, exaggerated sleeves, and slightly lower waists of the 1830s. The decorative hem border features beguiling organza flowers and corded piping on a wide band of ruched organza. The substantial weight satin gives a soft, graceful drape. Its mellow glow still warms the heart. NEW LISTING
Hand-embroidered wedding corset, c.1820-40. Made from ivory cotton, the charming corset has superb embroidered detail. In addition to fine trapunto cording, the corset is totally covered with hand-embroidered flowers. I love the two embroidered love birds on hearts at the center-front. I like to imagine the bride-to-be filled with love and anticipation as she did the embroidery. NEW LISTING
#2195 $1,985 Reserved
Gentleman's wool coat, 1780s. Made from sturdy brown wool tweed and lined with cream colored silk twill, the hand-stitched coat has deep front pockets with flaps, a stand-up collar, wide cuffs, and pleated back vents. This is a fine study piece for the collector who wants to learn how early clothing was constructed. Alternatively you could reline it for a reenactor. NEW LISTING
#1960 $800 Sold
Bonnes herbes block printed wrap, c.1795. The gaily colored, naturalistic florals, set against dark backgrounds with delicately drawn foliage were immensely popular. The carefully drawn stylized flowers are representative of familiar regional field flowers. I counted at least six different flowers. A rare period textile for the collector! NEW LISTING
Metallic embroidered silk coif, c.1720. The Jacobean-style motifs show the influence of older Gothic designs, Indian palampores, and Flemish verdure tapestries. I have never seen such peerless perfection in embroidery outside of a museum. With their brilliant sheen, silk and metallic fibers immediately convey luxury. When used in the work of a master embroidery artist, the effect is astonishingly beautiful. NEW LISTING
#2746 $1,950 Reserved
Directoire-period cotton gauze dress, c.1800. The alluring simplicity of form, rendered in pristine white, personifies the Neoclassical aesthetic. The bodice and cuffs are embellished with handmade bobbin lace that has a drochel ground. The constrained pattern of the lace is typical of the Neoclassical period. The superbly shaped back of the dress ends in a graceful train.
French-style child's cap, c.1720. Made from green silk faille, the cap features a raised work design of flowers and heraldic-style motifs executed in padded, couched embroidery of silver metallic thread. The delicate shading in the embroidery conveys the refined sophistication of aristocratic art forms: the edges of several flowers change gradually from muted yellow to roseate pink. What an an amazing value for a 290-year-old cap dating from before George Washington's time!
Infant's hand-embroidered dress, c.1815-1820. The infant's dress, open in the back, is lovingly decorated with fine hand embroidery, tiny tucks, and bands of pointed trim. The pointed trim is completely hand stitched from the same fabric as the dress; the time it took to produce the trim boggles the mind. The dress has the original drawstring to adjust the neckline fullness. There runs through the artless decoration a charming vein of simplicity.
Native American deerskin slippers, c.1820s. Most early Colonial shoe styles were hand produced and worn until they died; very few examples survive. The deerskin slippers are hand embroidered with a chain stitch pattern of abstract florals. The upper edge is bound with navy silk ribbon. The inside is lined with ivory cotton, and the sole is lined with linen. The soles are leather. An extraordinarily rare and fine artifact of early American history!
#2700 $850 Sold
Silk poke bonnet with original decoration, 1820s. Made with a covering of teal blue satin over a stiffened frame, the bonnet is lined with pale blue satin. The lining has a hand sewn inventory number tag. The bonnet's vivid image holds the attention of the viewer and then lingers in the mind. Is this due to the rich blue hue or perhaps because of the palpable originality of the decoration?
#1844 $750 Sold
Marigold yellow silk damask apron, c.1810. The long narrow shape of the hand sewn apron conforms to the narrow silhouette of Neoclassical dresses. The long corded apron ties have tassels at the ends. Under Napoleon, French fashion promoted innovative colors. One of the prettiest and most popular hues was cheerful marigold yellow. This is an exceptionally fine historical artifact from Neoclassical fashion history.
Cotton roller print child's dress, 1820s. Cotton roller print child's dress, c.1820. The style of a short puffed sleeve over a long straight sleeve, common in adult women's dresses of the period, rarely turns up in a child's dress. The dress is roller printed with a pattern of alternating foliate stripes. The cheerful combination of mustard, turkey red, and ivory is perfect for a little princess. The fullness of the bodice can be adjusted with cords inserted into casings.
Girl's silk cloak, c.1790-1820. The hand sewn cloak is fashioned from brown silk and is lined with pink glazed cotton. It is padded for warmth and closes in front with two sets of ties. The neckline has a double row of ruffles that show when the hood is down. The fullness of the hood can be adjusted by a silk ribbon drawstring tie. Amazingly for a 200-year-old cloak, the condition is almost excellent and all original.
Folding needlepoint pocketbook with provenance, c.1759. Stitched in wool on canvas in a flame stitch (bargello) pattern. One rarely finds an important mid-18th century historical artifact with rock solid provenance. The name of the original owner, Josiah Stone, is embroidered on the inside opening. On p. 9 of Handbag Chic, this pocketbook estimated at $4500-$5500.
Embroidered white cotton dress, early 1820. This dainty dress anticipates the change from the Neoclassical to the Romantic period. The waist is still high as in the Empire style, but the skirt is flared and fuller in our dress. The bodice and sleeves have alternating rows of sheer ruched cotton mull and hand-embroidered eyelet. Bands of eyelet alternating with rows of trapunto cording form a wide hem border both decorative and functional. The endearing simplicity of the early Romantic period retains its charm and fascination even today.
Gentleman's folding pocketbook, c.1770. Worked in wool Irish stitch on canvas by Catherine Steinmetz as a gift for her fiancé, it is lined with green silk, and the edges are bound with brown wool tape. Inside edges are embroidered "John Neveling/his pocketbook/October 28, 1770." What a poignant gesture of love from Colonial America! It was used to carry important papers. Also included is a 4-page handwritten letter by Nancy Quimm Sailer, presenting her research on the pocketbook.
Silk faille, bib-front dress, c.1800. The ubiquitous sheer white dresses from the early 19th century give the impression the Regency wardrobe lacked color. What a special treat to find a Regency dress in rich cranberry-red silk faille! It is styled with a drop-front bodice, known as bib front. Under the bib front is an ivory cotton under bodice that closes with ties. I love the ruching on the long, slender sleeves. Held for years in a private collection, the dress is completely hand sewn.
Brocaded silk lady's waistcoat, c.1770. The cone-shaped waistcoat fronts are fashioned from brocaded peach corded silk. From a distance, the texture of the corded weave resembles very fine line-quilting. The plain back and straps of silk shantung match the color of the fronts. The ripe peach hue is gorgeous! The silk ground is covered with brocaded flowers in shades of rose, green, blue, and ivory. What a delicate, feminine floral design!
Dresden embroidered organdy skirt, early 19th century. Dresden Embroidery was a form of whitework popular in the 18th century. The open work designs, when executed on sheer cotton muslin, were delicate enough to resemble lace. The skirt is made from whisper-sheer white organdy and hand stitched with extremely narrow seams. The hem is edged with a wide scalloped border of fine Dresden hand embroidery.
Silk gauze rectangular shawl, 1810-1820. The fresh lemon hue in the resplendent shawl is like the afterglow of the sun, still illumining the horizon with its beauty two centuries later. The summer weight shawl is sheer and delicate. The two black panels are bordered with pink ribbon weave; the pink panel is bordered with turquoise ribbon weave. The floral motif is remarkably free in line, effortlessly limning the gay and sprightly feeling of a spring day.
Regency child's hand-embroidered dress, c.1810. The Persian-style Tree of Life design on the skirt front is borrowed from Indian palampores. The refinement and delicacy of the peerless embroidery in wool floss is the work of a master embroider. She changed the embroidery color on the sleeves—front vs. back. A masterful historical artifact of early costume art!
American gentleman's silk jacket, 1830s-1840s. Made from beige raw silk, the wonderfully preserved, single-breasted jacket closes in front with self-covered fabric buttons. The cut is straight in front and flared below the waist in back and on the sides. It features a rounded collar and notched lapel, long straight sleeves, and 2 lower, side-front, slashed welt pockets. The jacket is completely hand stitched with matching silk thread.
Miniature silk calash bonnet, 1780s-1830s. Made from slate blue silk in the 18th century manner with cane hoops, the bonnet features the traditional silk ribbon bow at the center-back and additional ribbon and leaf decoration at the front-top. It might have belonged to a favorite doll originally, since the calash came from an estate where it had been passed down, complete with a matching stand, as a treasured family keepsake. Doll size calashes are extremely rare and highly collectible.
Child's printed cloth, heelless shoes, c.1830. I love the printed cotton with its tiny Xs and vermicular background! The heels and toes are foxed with black leather, and the upper edges are bound with folded ribbon. The hand-stitched shoes close in front with ties. Remarkably good condition for such an important historical artifact.
Child's Berlin woolwork slippers, c.1840. Berlin woolwork or needlepoint was often used to fashion slippers in the mid 19th century. After a lady completed her needlework design for the uppers, she took it to a shoemaker to be attached to soles and then lined. This pair is lined with red hand-quilted silk for warmth. The upper edges are trimmed with bottle-green silk ribbon that forms bows in front. The artless simplicity of the embroidered design is a delight to the sophisticated modern eye.
Chenille embroidered satin waistcoat fronts, mid 18th century. In couched embroidery, a yarn too large or too stiff to pass through the fabric is tacked down by another lighter yarn that can be passed through to the backside. The chenille yarn is couched on the satin surface with fine silk floss. The embroidery artfully balances positive and negative space in the fern-and-floral motif to achieve a rich and complex design. The waistcoat fronts are backed with linen. The embroidery is stitched through both layers. A superb example of textile art.
Cotton print day dress, c.1830. Made from a ribbon-weave cotton with alternating sheer voile and opaque stripes. Several features draw attention to the female form: the full skirt, the shoulder details, and the large gigot sleeves work together to make the waist appear smaller, emphasizing female curves. The amazing Romantic-period design features filigreed ferns in charming floral setting. The dress is completely hand sewn although the sewing machine was invented around this time
Provençal hand-quilted waistcoat, c.1800-30. Made from golden yellow cotton and lined with beige cotton and a thin layer of batting. The layers are hand quilted together with a diamond pattern of perfect little stitches. The brilliant marigold hue has long been associated with Provençal plant dyes of wild sumac, saffron, and sunflower petals. The bold and brilliant color signals the joie de vivre of the South of France: the sun showering its life-giving warmth on plants and people alike.
Dresden embroidered mull pelerine, 1830s-50s. The heirloom quality piece is an exemplar of fine early whitework. The open work designs of Dresden embroidery, when executed on sheer cotton muslin (mull), were delicate enough to resemble lace. Pelerine shawls, where the front was longer than the back, became popular as skirts became fuller in the 1830s. The shape continued to be worn throughout the 1860s.
#1000 $385 Sold
Silk satin half boots, c.1830. The side-lacing boots are lined with ivory linen and have no heels. Narrow half-boots of delicate satin made the foot appear smaller, more shapely, and feminine. The American Peterson's Magazine wrote (1855) that "nothing can be more elegant than a pure white or black satin shoe." Colored footwear went out of fashion in the 1830s, when hem lines hit the floor—an embrace of feminine modesty just before Queen Victoria ascended the throne.
Damask gaiter boots, 1830s. Side-lacing half boots with toe and heel foxing of contrasting leather were called gaiter boots, because they resembled gaiters (spats) worn over shoes. This pair features deep green damask uppers lined with ecru cotton canvas twill and foxed with black leather. The boots lace up on one side with the original lacings. Though impractical for serious walking, gaiter boots make the foot appear dainty and genteel.
Hand-embroidered infant's bonnet, c.1800. Made from sheer cotton muslin with insets of needle-run tulle. The embroidered florets are executed in chain stitch—they appear raised above the surface. The bonnet has drawstring ties on the lower edge and along the front. The purity and restraint of textured white stitches on a sheer white ground perfectly suited the Neoclassical aesthetic. A wonderful gift for a beloved infant!