#1536 $1,400 Sold
House of Rouff velvet cape, c.1890
The Galliera Museum of Paris is among the most authoritative centers for the study of French haute couture of the 19th century. With its presentation of "100 Years of Parisian Costume, 1800-1900," the Museum made a dramatic debut in the world of costume during the Paris International Exposition of 1937.
In a review of the major names of 19th century French couture, the Museum lists only six couture houses worthy of the pantheon: "celebrities like Worth, Laferrière, Morin-Blossier, Paquin, Redfern, and Rouff." Ladies who shopped at Worth were also likely to shop at Rouff.
The cape was used in my article on Quality and Condition to illustrate "design integrity." The design here seems based on shape and color with no ornamentation until you see the amazing lining. The cape is fully lined with rich gold silk faille with ribbon-woven satin stripes in a purple that echoes in muted tones the majestic purple of the exterior.
When the cape is opened, showing the sumptuous inner silk, the understated opulence of the cape is revealed. With the bold stand-up ruffles, the magnificent little cape is pure sculpture.
The label reads "Rouff/13 Boulevard Haussmann/Paris.
The condition is excellent. I found one small split on the inside collar.
It measures: 15 1/2" across the shoulders, 15" neck circumference, and 20" length.