#c430 $1,200Hand-quilted silk cape, 1830s
The long slender Regency coats of the 1820s could no longer accommodate the fuller skirts of the 1830s. Full capes reappeared as the logical choice for outerwear. The last time full capes had been in vogue was the 1790s.
Made from brown silk satin, the cape is lined with changeable brown silk taffeta and is padded for warmth. The cape closes down the front with fabric loops and small covered buttons and with two hooks on the yoke around the neck.
New styles often retain construction elements of garments of the immediately preceding period. Note how the loops and buttons on the cape mimic those on the Regency pelisse.
Although plain and straightforward in design, the cape has delightful details that resonate over the centuries. On the interior of the front opening are two hand-quilted pockets. The interior of the yoke is also hand quilted.
The exterior of the yoke and the front arm slits are outlined with corded self piping. The fullness of the cape is controlled with deep pleats below the yoke.
Romantic period style connotes the attractive ornament seen on clothing of the period. Art historians often use style to refer to common qualities in the creations of certain historical periods, as in Neoclassical style.
True style runs deeper than this, referencing a world view. Due to the backlash against female influence in politics during the French Revolution, the sexual dichotomy in dress became more pronounced from the late 1830s onwards. The Romantic period in dress can be seen as the beginning of this 19th century trend.
The condition is almost excellent. The cape shows gentle wear.
It measures 40" yoke circumference and 54" from shoulder to hem.