Bustle Gown  c. 1885 

United States  

Materials: Pistachio green wool challis, silk floss, hand made Mechlin bobbin lace, silk covered buttons; lining: tan silk faille, steel bustle insert, elastic cord, buckram, Cluny lace, 9 baleen stays, brass hooks and eyes.

Label: Stamped on petersham, "L. P. Hollander & Co. Boston".

Condition: The outer dress is in excellent condition. There are a few small brown stains on the right sleeve and in the skirt's back bustle drape there is one tiny hole. The silk lining is stained and very fragile, especially in two areas: where the under-bodice buttons at center front and in the upper skirt, near the waistband. These fragile areas could be repaired without having to reline the whole piece.

Measurements: Jacket: Sh-Sh, 13"; B, 31"; W, 24"; Slv L, 19"; Front L, 22'. Skirt: W, 24"; Front L, 41"; Back L, 43".

Comments: Hollander & Co. was an elite clothing retailer in the late 19th century, having shops in Boston, Newport and Paris. The a-symmetrical draping in the skirt front is typical of the mid 1880s. This afternoon bustle gown's most outstanding feature is its vibrant and lavish embroidery. Hand embroidered roses, morning glories and forget-me-nots parade in profusion on the green challis background. The Mechlin bobbin lace is of a quality rarely found on late 19th c. clothing; I believe that the lace used on this gown  dates to the 18th c. This gown is a magnificent example of the Victorian bustle era


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