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Victorian Library

item number #LISA0001-20090415-01

Victorian 1876 Natural Form BUSTLE GOWN sold AS IS

This is a lovely and romantic, frothy, authentic Victorian 1876 Natural Form BUSTLE GOWN that was originally made for Spring or Summertime wear, (possibly as a wedding gown) but more likely as an informal morning or afternoon home fashion, with yards of lovely lace. This beautiful bustle dress is made in the dropped bustle style, truly in the epitome of the natural form style movement starting in 1876 and changing again by approximately 1879.
Natural form Victorian bustle dressA similar bustle gown, even with the arm lace insertions, worn by a model.

The fabric used on this Natual Form gown is a very fine, sheer, creamy white cotton gauze, overlaid on 100 percent brushed cotton as the base. The very curvy, and gauzy Basque bodice has multiple princess seams and dart fittings for extra precise shaping with inner suspended tapes for support. The bustled bodice opens in an inverted "V" over the hips (almost like a polonaise bodice) and is edged with the stunning handmade needlelace. The 3/4 length sleeves are heavily ruched with self-lace insertions down each sleeve center, ending with self-flounced ruffles, edged with more of the gorgeous "flowered" lace flounced ruffles at the sleeve endings. The back of the Basque has repeated gatherings on a pronounced bustle area. The Mandarin collar on this particular bustle gown was always used open...uses no closure here (and never had any, not even a pin was ever used here).

The bustle skirt is a frothy Meringue dream! The bustled underskirt (again overlaid with the cotton gauze) has a dual layer of self fabric lace edged ruffles with an attached "Hermoine" style ruched over-skirt that hugs the hips. It is edged with more frothy self ruffles and lace. The bustling on the rear is all attached to the undercarriage, and begins the bustling at behind the knees (not behind the waistband, the sign of the Natural Form gown) and uses no bustle, but has many inner suspended tapes made to adjust the inner bustling. The over skirt even has a small, sweeping train again edged in flounced self ruffles and lace. This is a sweet and petite bustle gown!


This is one of the prettiest bustle dresses you will ever see. I know you want to wear it if you have gotten this far, BUT, ONLY the skirt can be worn... OR, the bustle gown as a whole can only be a display gown, or for study, pattern or parts.

The Basque bodice gauze overlay (located on top of the brushed cotton) the sleeves were unlined, so the fine cloth being unsupported made the gauze too fragile in a few areas (plus a few around a couple of the bodice seams) to ever be worn, nor even tried on. I think someone too large for it tried wearing it at some point, so this stress had exacerbated the bodice fabric condition.

Ironically enough, the bustle skirt is in very GOOD condition, and it could actually be worn (assuming a person was small enough) and even expanded larger by adding additional waistband length. A new bodice could be made by making a pattern, then reusing the lace. Overall, Victorian outfit very creamy white and clean in appearance, with a very slight yellowing to the bodice left (minor) hard to see. (I do not think it has been cleaned in many years, but does not need it anyway.) A few tiny darkish spots on bodice and skirt. I see about 10? very tiny self fabric mends, or thread darns on bodice front, back/ shoulder and sleeves, with a few pinholes. Few areas of bodice seam reenforcements. No boning or stays. Bustle skirt has two mends on underneath lining, one where it think the original stepped on the hem of her skirt, and the other located in the bustling area, where she likely pulled the bustling so it lightly tore there. I saw a tiny pinky sized hole under there as well too-- (again, minor). Lining is minimally finished with hand overcasting. Treadle appearance seams, size taken in once (or twice?). At any rate, this is a top notice appearing gown sold "ASIS" and "AS FOUND."

This item is sold and no longer available.

To reserve or order item, get quotes or ask a question fill out the seller contact form at bottom of page.

IS AS sold GOWN BUSTLE Form Natural 1876 Victorian

Estimated Current size Approx.:

Unsure about size? Go to the page
SizeLength tallDress cross BustAcross dropped WaistAcross HipsEstimated overall condition scale of bodice 1-10Estimated overall condition scale of skirt 1-10
X-SmallShoulder to hem 54"31" closed flush.21" closed flush.39"79.0

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This item is sold and no longer available.

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