Jeanne Hallée lace bodice, c.1903
French couturière Jeanne Hallée was known for delicate creations of silk chiffon and/or lace. Made from handmade beige Cluny lace over bronzed gold lamé, this ravishing bodice would have made a spectacular impression when first worn.
In the black silk Hallée bodice below, we can see a similar feminine treatment in a different fabric.
Our lamé lace bodice likely had a matching skirt of Cluny lace when created. Hallée pieces are a special find for the collector because of their rarity. With its exquisite detail, our dramatic bodice will enrich any collection.
The collar is embellished with horizontal bands of gold lamé and decorative cut-steel buttons set with rhinestones. On the front, black chiffon panels are sandwiched between the lace and the lamé. The black chiffon panels form a cummerbund around the back waist.
The bodice is lined with ivory taffeta and is boned on the seams. It closes in front with hooks. The label reads "Jeanne Hallée/3 Rue Ville Levreque(?)/Paris." The street name is covered with stitching and hard to read.
The haunting, mesmeric design has two different oval motifs in two parallel rows, alternating the horizontal and vertical orientation of the motifs—an harmonious symphony in lace.
Cluny lace is a Victorian handmade bobbin lace worked in linen thread and with braided bars and small petal-shaped wheat ears. Cluny refers to the Cluny Museum in Paris, where a collection of 16th century Genoese bobbin laces was exhibited in the 19th century. They inspired French lace makers to imitate the old patterns and create a "new" continuous lace.
The condition is almost excellent. The buttons have missing rhinestones. The lining has a few splits, particularly in the shoulder area, which is stable and not shattering.
It measures: 32" bust; 26" waist; 12 1/2" collar circumference; and 15" from shoulder to waist.