#7378 $1,400 SoldRomantic period cotton dress, c.1830
Made from white cotton with inserts of embroidered net lace, the exemplary Romantic dress has a dainty pleated bodice and exaggerated gigot sleeves. They first appeared around 1830, making the waist appear smaller and emphasizing female curves.
The emblematic full gigot sleeves have long narrow, ruched cuffs. The ruching is held in place with narrow bands of lace outlined with corded piping. The sleeves close with tiny thread-covered buttons.
The bodice has corded piping that edges the yoke neckline and armholes. Everything is completely hand sewn with tiny, even stitches. The dress closes with hooks at the waist and in back at the neckline.
As a reaction against the dominant Neoclassicism of the 1790s, Romanticism rejected Classical precepts like order, harmony, balance, and even rationality. Instead, Romanticism stressed imagination and self-expression as opposed to the restraints of "good form."
The Romantics believed that women, like men, had the God given right to express their individuality, the most fundamental form of self-expression. Nothing is a greater declaration of self than to celebrate the natural female form through clothes.
For connoisseurs and collectors of Romantic period clothing like ourselves, the periods and places we long to visit may occupy a larger place in our mental lives than where we happen to be at the moment.
The condition is almost excellent. On the back waistband is a small hole backed with fabric; the hole does not go all the way through. Also, the buttons on the sleeves have darkened with age.
It measures: 36" bust; 28" high waist; 23" sleeve length; 6 1/2" wrist circumference; 10 1/2" from the shoulder to the high waist; and 48" from the shoulder to the hem.