This spectacular day dress dating to the mid Victorian period of the 1860s, during or just after the Civil War, is made of a sheer black fabric that appears to be a blend of silk and cotton with a woven stripe of purple satin and floral sprigs in yellow, red and green. The basque style bodice is trimmed at the yoke with a band of bias cut silk faille and a fringe of crimped silk braid. The same silk is found at the neckline and forms bows at the closure as well as on the cuffs and at the sides of the skirt where they anchor the horizontal pleats across the front. Vertical bands are also used across the pleated cuffs.
The bodice closes with Dorset buttons and is fully lined in medium brown cotton twill. Boning is found in the front of the bodice only. The set in sleeves are trimmed with narrow silk covered piping.
The skirt remains unlined and features a train in the back. Closure at the left side of the waist band is with hooks and eyes. Hemline is bound with woven wool tape.
Condition is excellent with the only noted flaw being a small pea sized hole in the outer fabric of the bodice. This is not visible except on close inspection and could easily be repaired with a small piece of fabric from a seam allowance if desired.
Bust ~ 32"
Waist ~ 26"
Shoulders Across the Back ~ 13"
Bodice Length ~ 25"
Skirt Waist ~ 26"
Length Front/Back ~ 39"/50"
Sweep ~ 127"