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#c358 $1,950

Hand-embroidered silk satin/faille bustle wedding dress, c.1881

This exceptional gown was the wedding dress of a Miss Custer in 1881. The style is regal and elegant, as befitting a bride on her special day. The superb hand embroidery sets this magnificent creation above other dresses on any day of the year. The gown will make an indelible impression at the wedding; and it can be the centerpiece of a serious collection.

Judging by the printed inventory number hand sewn to the petersham, the dress was likely sold by a museum. The label printed on the petersham is difficult to read: "??? Williams Modiste/2310430." The dress comes with a wedding hankie, which unfortunately is in bad condition but is historically interesting.

The bodice and train are fashioned from fawn-colored silk faille. The skirt is made of substantial ivory silk satin. Both pieces are hand-embroidered with sprays of ivory silk floss flowers, executed in satin stitch with French knot accents.

The boned bodice is lined with matching striped silk damask. The bodice closes in front with lacing. The back lacing is decorative only. The sleeves and neckline are trimmed with pleated self-ruffles and Brussels lace flounces.

The condition is very good to excellent. The minor flaws include soiling on the train, where it dragged on the floor; small and very faint underarm discoloration; slight pulling of the weave along the bodice bones; and mending on the lace neckline flounce. The gown has not been altered in size or style, maintaining design integrity. The flaws are apparent only on close examination. This is an unforgettable dress for an unforgettable occasion!

It measures: 35" bust, 25" waist, 15 1/2" sleeve length, and 39 1/2" skirt-front length.

Victorian bustle dress

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