Early Antique Clothing

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1820s embroidered corset

Hand-embroidered cotton corset, c.1820-40. Shaped with godet inserts outlined with trapunto cording, the alluring corset is embellished with hand-embroidered flowers. In back are hand-stitched eyelets for lacing.  NEW LISTING

1830s sleever puffers

Rare cotton calico sleeve pads, 1830s. Sleeve pads were worn under dresses in the 1830s to support the fashionable large balloon sleeves. They still have the original series of string ties used to secure the pads to corresponding ties on the corset.  NEW LISTING

18th century purse

Metallic embroidered silk purse, c.1750. Fine 18th century embroidery was both an art form and a status symbol. This one features magnificent polychrome silk and gold metallic thread embroidery on a cream silk ground.  NEW LISTING

18th century pattens

Man's satin/silk stock, 1830s. Shaped with a center-front seam to accommodate the slope of the neck, the stock closes in back with a buckle. A rare historic artifact for the discerning collector!  NEW LISTING

18th century petticoat

Hand-quilted cotton petticoat, 18th century. Quilted with an eddying shell pattern executed with 10-12 stitches/inch. The hem border features undulating feathers surrounded by diagonal rows. The border is outlined with rows of corded trapunto. NEW LISTING

18th century pattens

Silk drawn bonnet with original decoration, c.1820. It is all original, including the decoration. The silk is drawn up in a shirred effect over rows of inserted canes/wire. I love the enormous ribbon bow on one side. The wide gossamer ribbon trim is woven with a delightful pattern of oak leaves.

18th century pattens

Silk brocade shoes with Italian heels, c.1775-1785. Under the instep of the Italian heels are wedge-like extensions, supporting the arch. With their slender heels, elegant Italian shoes were great favorites. The heels are covered with cream colored silk. The contrast with the fabric on the upper body of the shoe was considered of the last degree of chic.

18th century pattens

Silk brocade pattens, c.1720-1750. This pair is more fashionable than practical. The thick leather soles of the pattens would protect the heels and soles of the shoes, but the silk brocade uppers were useful only to hold the shoes in place. The type of wedge in our pattens is a typical feature of Georgian pattens.

18th century pattens

Child's Berlin woolwork slippers, c.1840. Berlin woolwork 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. The upper edges are trimmed with bottle-green silk ribbon that forms bows in front. The artless simplicity of the embroidered design is an enduring delight.

Indigo dress c.1795

American rural indigo cotton print dress, c.1795-1810. This very rare transitional-style dress may have been remade from an earlier garment. The open front bodice without bust darts is cut in the 18th century manner. The blue-ivory plaid bodice lining is identical to linings in 18th century New England dresses I have sold.

Man's suit c.1790

Gentleman's wool suit, c.1780-1790. Made from high quality black wool, the two-piece suit is an important historical artifact. The unlined breeches are in the narrow fall-front style. The fine fabric and skillful hand tailoring indicate the suit was made for a gentleman of means.

Regency bonnet

Regency silk bonnet, c.1805-1815. In contrast to the minimalism of the gowns, Regency bonnet design was often wildly inventive with original shapes and elaborate decoration. Here the stiffened brim shields the wearer's face from the sun. The peaked-brim shape, rarely found on the market today, is a plus for the serious collector.

18th century shoes

Polychrome silk embroidered apron, c.1725-50. The Jacobean floral pattern is executed in shaded tones of rose and green with couched bronze metallic accents. The scalloped edges are trimmed with corded floss. The textural interest is created by the contrast of satin stitch—some padded—to a variety of fancy-fill stitches. What a sublime exemplar of satin stitch technique! 

18th century shoes

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.

1790s cotton print dress

1790s gown remodeled from earlier block printed fabric. The fabric dates from 20 years earlier than the 1790s style. The print has an endearing charm with blushing roses in bloom and little buds in white and cerulean blue. This magnificent remodeled gown is proof that surviving period artifacts allow us to encounter the past at first hand.

1830s child's dress

French-style child's cap, c.1720. Made from green silk faille, the cap has 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. An amazing value!

1830s needlepoint purse

Needlepoint purse, 1830s. This small drawstring purse features different front and back needlepoint vignettes set in an overall flames stitch (Bargello) pattern. The ribbon drawstrings are original, testifying to the unaltered condition of this endearing historical artifact, a rare vintage treasure that speaks to us across the ages.

1720s embroidered coif

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.

1840s dress

Silk print dress & pelerine, 1840s.Characteristic of the late Romantic period are the sloping shoulders, deeply pointed front waist, and full skirt worn with several starched petticoats. The silk fabric is woven with a subtle windowpane plaid and resist-printed with intertwining leaves and flowers. I love the rich café au lait color.

neoclassical evening dress

Cotton print gown, 1770s-80s. Made from sheer white cotton dimity printed with a repeat pattern of sunny floral sprays, this "informal" gown is nevertheless in the "high style." The contrast of delicate flowers to the geometric textured pattern of the corded weave is of the last degree of charm. The robe á l'anglaise style has a fitted bodice back and closed bodice fronts.

1780s man's coat

French gentleman's or boy's silk coat & waistcoat, 1780s-1790s. What a treat to find an 18th century garment with the original buttons and trim! An inventory description written in French and hand sewn onto the lower front corner of the coat states that the fabric is blue moiré silk with silver braid trim and silver buttons. Judging by the small size, the ensemble from a French collection probably belonged to a young man or boy.

Regency shawl

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 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.

1830s silk cape

Hand-quilted silk cape, 1830s. To accommodate the fuller skirts of the 1830s, full capes reappeared in fashion. Made from brown silk satin, the cape is padded for warmth. It closes down the front with fabric loops and small covered buttons. The fullness is controlled with deep pleats below the yoke. Although straightforward in design, the cape has delightful details that resonate over the centuries.

1780s open robe

French beaded cotton evening dress, c.1805. Here is the quintessential and revolutionary Neoclassical style: the Empire waist; wide, open neckline; and a small back train. The peerless Directoire dress is covered with opaque white Bohemian glass bugle beads. Speaking to us across two centuries, the endearing charm is just as fresh and irresistible as when worn to a first grand ball.

1820s pantelettes

French brocaded silk taffeta open robe, 1780s. Made from glowing silk taffeta with purple rib weave stripes and small ivory brocaded flowers, the regal gown can be worn as a traditional open robe or pulled up à la Polonaise. The charming compères are decorated with appliqués of cut-out stripes and pleated ribbon. The luxe golden brocade from the Ancien Régime retains an incandescent afterglow even today.

Neoclassical boy's suit

Woman's lace-trimmed pantalettes, 1820s. Around 1806 the French created the female version (pantalettes) of men's drawers. But pantalettes for adult women were only a passing fad and rarely come onto the market. This important Romantic Period artifact should end up in the hands of a museum or major collector, the cultural custodian of our common costume heritage.

18th century waistcoat

Gentleman's silk faille waistcoat, c.1780-1795. Informal antique clothing with exceptional style is very hard to find, as it was generally worn until it fell apart. The charming waistcoat displays beautifully. The striped silk faille fronts of the waistcoat have set-in pockets with flaps.

early 19th century slippers

Native American deerskin slippers, c.1820s. Most early Colonial shoe styles were hand produced and worn until they died; very few examples survive. These are hand embroidered with a chain stitch pattern of abstract florals. The upper edge is bound with navy silk ribbon. The soles are leather. An extraordinarily rare and fine artifact of early American history!

Regency lady's waistcoat

Provençal hand-quilted waistcoat, c.1800-30. 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.

gentleman's Neoclassical waistcoat

Chenille embroidered satin waistcoat fronts, mid 18th century. In couched embroidery, a stiff yarn 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.

gentleman's Neoclassical waistcoat

French embroidered silk waistcoat fronts c.1780. Made from cream-colored corded silk fabric backed with linen, the lavishly embellished waistcoat fronts offer an opportunity for up close examination of an exemplary piece from the late Rococo period. The silk fabric is embroidered with a floral pattern of matching heavy silk floss.

gentleman's Neoclassical waistcoat

Federal Period gentleman's decorative silk waistcoat. By the end of the 18th century, men's waistcoats had evolved to a shorter length with a straight bottom. The elaborate floral damask pattern is reminiscent of hand-embroidered patterns found in earlier waistcoats. The fronts of the waistcoat are fashioned from black silk satin lined with beige linen.

Regency infant's dress

Infant's hand-embroidered dress, c.1815-1820. 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.

18th century lady's waistcoat

Brocaded silk lady's waistcoat, c.1770. Made 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!

regency baby bonnet

Hand-embroidered infant's bonnet, c.1800. Made from sheer cotton muslin with insets of needle-run tulle. Embroidered florets are executed in chain stitch—they appear raised above the surface. 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!

1830s man's jacket

American gentleman's silk jacket, 1830s-1840s. 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.