#2809 $850Woman's lace-trimmed pantalettes, 1820s
The predecessor of women's panties appeared about 1806 in the form of drawers like those worn by gentleman. Always the leader in forward chic, the French quickly came up with the female version—pantalettes.
While the style persisted throughout the 19th century for children, pantalettes for adult women were only a passing fad. They rarely come onto the market. This pair in top condition is a special find for the serious collector.
The pantalettes consist of two separate legs attached to a waistband, leaving the crotch open. The legs are bordered at the bottom with bands of needle run lace.
The pantalettes are completely hand stitched and close in back with one mother-of-pearl button. The open edges of the crotch are finished with corded piping.
These charming pantalettes are an important Romantic Period artifact. As such, I expect they will end up in the hands of a museum or major collector, the cultural custodian of our common costume heritage.
The condition is almost excellent. There is a small break in the lace on one leg.
The waistband measures 28". The length is 40".