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Victorian Library

item number #LISA0001-20090207-16

Victorian 1882 Street Bustle Gown in Midnight Forest Green with Iridescent appliques

Museum quality really comes to mind when I think about this amazing, one of a kind gown. One of the absolutely finest street gown bustle dresses I've ever encountered- it was wonderfully stored and cared for. Smart street styling and precise tailoring are hallmarks of the dressmaker who made this fine bustle dress. The light weight midnight forest green (almost black with strong dark green hue. Actual color darker in tone than the photos in real life although the hue of it is correct.) The silk taffeta shell is a shimmering, midnight forest green that is almost blackish in tone in some lights. There's a phenomenally attractive, silk iridescent shot golden-orange-green brocade woven inserts with raised velvet areas that shifts color, depending on the light! I'm speechless for the words to describe the beauty of the contrasting inserts of fabric on the stiffened bustle (buckram style stiffener) inside the attached gathering, and the wrists which end in a thin trim of black velvet...

The silk taffeta Mandarin collar bodice is very tailored and curvy, with a front hip watch pocket. The shape is tightly form-fitted, with a fully boned (whalebone) tan cotton interior. You can see that the styling with the flat shoulders and starburst fan pleating at the widish skirt bottom was reminiscent of 1870's detail effects, so the gown was at the time, taking on the newer styled, plainer, but severer detailing of the 1880's. The fancy, iridescent carnival glass bead appliques lined in gold metallic chain stitch in a leaf pattern line the bottom of the "petal" peplum, original to the garment manufacture.There's 14 brass and black enamel large rose and leaf picture buttons lining the front. Skirt hip side has a hidden pocket. The front of the skirt has plain styling in the wide skirt which needs a substantial amount of petticoats and aggressive bustle to look stylistically correct, with the unusual large, pleated fan pleating edge trim. (Usually in the 1880's, there was a craze using mostly straight, flat knife pleats.) There's a dressy black silk satin side bow at the side skirt bottom.

An extra small size- if this great bustle gown were to be worn, it would need a short, petite lady with narrow shoulders, about a size 0-1 (I'll provide the measurements below photo.) probably a size A- AB- B bust. (Bigger than a small B cup would be pushing it...) This amazing gown would also be an amazing display!No maker marks on the self fabric petersham, although it is of the quality you would expect to see one...


Whew! Are you still here after all that writing? Well, here's very little to tell about the condition, but I'm picky so, here we go... The silk taffeta and the silk brocade are overall pretty strong. Bodice is in great condition- one button in the center is missing the rose, and all have some worn enamel paint. Appliques are in Near Mint condition. One button was removed as an afterthought by the maker and the hold closed for applique sizing. Inside silk/ cotton blend twill is extraordinarily good. Lining underarms inside have a faint amount of lightening that does not translate to the outside. If you plan to actually wear this garment, I recommend using underarm guards to preserve the area.

I find only a few minor areas that show any wear or fabric weakness at all. Under the black silk satin bow, I barely see a few tiny, minor mends- I can only guess that the weight of the bow had been pulled on it. Fortunately, it had been nicely repaired and so it's attached well. There's a very, very faint lightened area (about 1/16 of a shade- truly almost invisible.) on the front skirt knee area with another very minor mend at the edge of the top of one of the pleats. This was almost not worth mentioning, but I try to tell all so there are no surprises! A few of the raised areas of the fan pleats have extremely minor wear "rubbing" on high areas. Light wear at the bottom inside glazed cotton dust protector liner. I think this would be a magnificent display gown or to wear if you were inclined (or small enough!). There is no room to let out, so make sure to add at least 1/2" movement room to your current measurements (do not go by bra size!) One of the best- ever.

Price is: $1295

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appliques Iridescent with Green Forest Midnight in Gown Bustle Street 1882 Victorian

Estimated Current size Approx.:

Unsure about size? Go to the page
Size Shoulders BustSkirt WaistEstimated Length from top of shoulder tip to bottom of hemEstimated Wear-abilityEstimated Underarm conditionMaker's Tags/ MarksEstimated condition ratingEstimated overall condition scale of 1-10
Small (0-1)12."30"26."18" plus 35" skirtExcellent if desired.Excellent- slight inside lining lightening.None.Very EXCELLENT.9 3/4

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